Nearly two million Americans aged 12 or older either abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved $6 million in opioid settlement funds to support organizations addressing substance abuse or mental health at Tuesday’s meeting.

Back in May, the board discussed plans for $72.7 million in opioid settlement funds.

The money will be distributed, in rounds, to Mecklenburg County through 2038.

The county has already received $32.4 million. 

So far, the board has expanded the Queen City Harm Reduction’s Syringe Services Program and hired a new team member in the County Manager’s Office to help implement initiatives, among other things. 

From July 15 – Aug. 15, the county received applications from local organizations requesting funding from the settlements. 

Proposals are divided into five categories of opioid treatment and addiction-related services: employment-related services,evidence-based addiction treatment, early intervention, recovery support services and recovery housing support. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, 17 of the 78 community applications were approved. received  

Of the requested $37 million  in funding, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners approved $6 million toward: 

  • $1,000,000 – Queen City Harm Reduction to provide permanent housing to 40 people per year and rental and utility assistance to an additional 135 people
  • $820,000 – Hopes Homes Recovery Services to expand its recovery housing capacity to serve 40 more individuals throughout six MAT homes
  • $637,000 – Oxford House to house 50 individuals who are transitioning from incarceration 
  • $500,000 – Charlotte Health Community Clinic to offer Medication-Assisted Treatment, MAT to those under or uninsured
  • $393,000 – Continuum Care Services to support a pilot recovery housing program for 12 low-income women of color
  • $386,000 – Project 658’s program to teach youth and families about substance abuse risk factors
  • $372,000 – Carolina Cares Partnership to provide peer navigation and mental health treatment to Latinx and LGBTQIA populations in treatment and recovery and hire a Peer Support Specialist and Addictions Specialist to provide substance use treatment to 100 individuals over two years
  • $253,000 – Thompson Child and Family Focus to implement a curriculum focused on the dangers of prescription opioid use
  • $250,000 – Amity Medical Group’s MAT and transportation vouchers for uninsured and underinsured patients
  • $250,000 – Hope Haven to hire a new team of certified Peer Support Specialists that will focus on helping residents improve their wellbeing 
  • $250,000 – McLeod Centers for Wellbeing to develop an emergency financial assistance fund to support past-due rent and utility disconnection
  • $210,000 – SMART Recovery USA expand evidence-based mutual support groups that focus on self-management and recovery training and hire a community outreach coordinator
  • $200,000 – Charlotte Area Fund to provide comprehensive employment services, such as  obtaining certificates in high-demand fields like highway construction and fiber optics
  • $167,000 – Amity Medical Group to fund two positions for recovery support services, a Peer Support Specialist and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist – Associate
  • $166,000 – Hope Haven to provide residents with soft skills, technical skills and job placement through a workforce development program
  • $158,000 – National Center on Institutions and Alternatives to provide employment services, such as vocational training, job placement, interview coaching and resume reviews, to those in treatment or recovery from opioid use
  • $110,000 – Children’s Home Society of North Carolina to provide quarterly training to 100 foster parents to remain licensed as foster parents and provide a substance use prevention kit.

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