Responding to Substance Abuse Disorders with Strategic Grants | Social problems

The third and final installment of our conversation about the Community Foundation’s current strategic grants focuses on responding to substance use disorders (SUD). As noted in our last two columns, the Frederick County Human Needs Assessment in 2018 provided the data the Community Foundation needed to realign its granting priorities to meet Frederick County’s most urgent needs.

Key findings from the 2018 needs assessment included that Frederick County, like the nation and comparable counties, faces SOUTH, including alcohol abuse. Alcohol is a much more widely accepted and less visible form of SUD; many people mistakenly assume that SUD is only related to pharmaceuticals. SUD often coexists with mental health problems, and transportation problems prevent access to treatment in all of these areas. Additionally, residential treatment and drug rehab centers in Frederick County are limited, and few SOUTH practitioners accept Medicaid.

Based on these key findings, our grants committee established criteria for applicants (local nonprofits, local government agencies) to identify outcomes of projects or services that meet the continuation or increase :

• access to timely and qualified treatment and recovery options;

• Education and prevention programs linked to SUD;

• the collection and analysis of data relating to the people affected by SUD and the programs that serve them.

Our recent grant supporting Frederick County’s ability to respond to SUD included Rehabilitation Assistance Programs (Frederick Rescue Mission), an employment program for those affected by SUD (Justice Jobs of Maryland), a SUD adolescent recovery program (The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland) and the Narcan program (Frederick City Police Department).

Grants totaling over $ 197,000 have supported these programs and more, and funding for similar programs over the past two years brings our total grants in this area to just over $ 320,000.

Where does the grant money come from? Community Foundation funds are established by individuals and businesses. Some funds have specific criteria that direct money to programs and services that support families with children, and some funds allow our grants committee to direct the money where it’s needed most. In addition, our newly established Forever Frederick County Fund, an unrestricted endowment created to meet our community’s most pressing needs, is now providing funds to each strategic area. Finally, the Strategic Funding Partners (donors who wish to directly support one or more strategic areas) have made generous donations.

Frederick County is fortunate to have non-profit organizations and government agencies that care about helping people cope with substance use disorders. It is a disease that destroys not only a person’s life, but the lives of those around him. With expanded treatment options and integration services available, more individuals and their families will lead successful lives and have a positive impact in our community.

Editor’s Note: The Community Foundation of Frederick County, MD, Inc., is a non-profit organization that connects people who care about important causes. He works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to realize their charitable intentions through scholarships and grants to non-profit organizations. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit

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