FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Help is on the way for dozens of groups across the bluegrass that help in the fight against substance abuse and recovery from opioids.
Kentucky won more than $800 million in a settlement with drugmakers last year. Since then a commission led by the Attorney General’s Office has traveled the state figuring out what to do with that money. On Monday, another round of grants was awarded to more than 30 groups helping struggling Kentuckians.
The grants total up to $13.9 million spread across 34 organizations and agencies helping people treat and recover from opioid abuse and prevent the problem before it starts.
“That brings the commission’s total allocation for this calendar year to $32 million for prevention, treatment, and recovery services that cover all 120 counties of the Commonwealth,” Brian Hubbard, Executive Director of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission said.
Taking back $657,000 in grant money is Lexington’s Recovery Café. Operators Jason Robinson and Aaron Guldenschuh-gatten said the organization’s aim is for people in need to have a safe space.
“Many of our members struggle with being unhoused or any of the other common struggles that often are tied to addiction or opioid use disorder,” Robinson, the organization’s executive director told FOX 56.
They already have plans for how the grant money will be used – so their outreach has an even bigger footprint.
“We’re Allocating that money for an expansion project to find a second location. And we’re also going to be operating our recovery community center seven days a week,” Guldenschuh-gatten said.
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Right now, the café is only open five days a week. The money will also afford them to nearly double their staff of recovery coaches and offer virtual appointments.
“Recovery is a 24/7 thing. So being open only during operating hours or business hours doesn’t really work for those who are who might be struggling and really need some extra support,” Robinson said.
The Recovery Café is among dozens of groups and agencies helping people that got some big awards. People can learn more about their work at recoverycafelexington.org. People can learn more about other grant winners here.