Pennsylvania on Wednesday put $15 million toward a new program to help people to trying to recover from opioid addiction find places to live and connect with related supports.
Under the pilot program, the $15 million will be spread out among 16 organizations in counties which have some of the highest rates of people addicted to opioids and fatal overdoses. In applying for the funds, the organizations had to explain how they will use the money to help people find housing, stay in treatment and strive for self sufficiency.
In the Harrisburg region, Family Health Council of Central Pa. won a grant to participate in the program.
The $15 million is federal money from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The state estimates the program will help 2,200 people.
Tara Breitsprecher, Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary of policy and planning, said the program is designed to address the fact that lack of housing is one of the most common obstacles faced by people trying to recover from opioid addiction.
She further said it’s designed to give organizations flexibility to come up with localized solutions, based on local need and what other local resources are available to address housing instability of people trying to recover from opioid addiction.
She said the grant money can be used for things including caseworkers to help people connect with housing programs and sources of funding, and in some cases to temporarily cover rent. It also can fund caseworkers to connect people to things such as food stamps or child care than can help them become self sufficient.