In the fall of 2019, Commonwealth Prevention Alliance wrote a mini-grant opportunity into their grant application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The plan was to do an outreach to faith-based leaders across Pennsylvania, giving them pertinent information about drug and alcohol programs and to suggest ways in which they could support families affected by addiction in their communities. This would help the faith communities to be better informed and have easier access to prevention and treatment programs. They awarded 16 grants in total, 7 going to SCAs and 9 going to coalitions, impacting 25 counties. Even with all the necessary adaptations that had to be made during the pandemic, they were able to reach 1,968 faith communities.
According to grant recipient Natalie Kaufmann, Project Coordinator for the Cambria County Drug Coalition, “We had fifty faith-based leaders from various faiths, and various areas in our community join us on a ZOOM seminar. In the year of Covid when we weren’t able to get out, this was a wonderful opportunity.”
Another recipient, Olivia Oden, Stigma Reduction & Education Coordinator with United in Recovery, was equally enthusiastic. “As the word got out, we began getting requests for more toolkits, and more rack cards, and more training — essentially opening the door for more partnerships in the community. I’m really excited for what the future holds with our organization partnering with other faith-based organizations that we haven’t connected with yet — it’s a very positive thing.”
The 2020 Faith-Based Outreach was so successful that CPA has developed new opportunities to assist PA coalitions and community organizations in continued efforts in making faith-based connections using the PAStop materials and messaging. If you are interested in taking advantage of these opportunities, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.