District Attorney’s office awards $110,000 for projects to strengthen communities

Staff Reports

Published: 02-26-2023 8:08 PM

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office this month announced $114,000 in grants to community groups working with youth and families and supporting people in recovery as part of its Asset Forfeiture Community Reinvestment Program.

Funds for the grants come from asset forfeitures through which the District Attorney’s Office redistributes funds seized in drug-related cases. Funds are distributed to community

organizations working on drug rehabilitation, drug education and other anti–drug programs that aim to foster healthy communities and support law enforcement efforts to prevent crime.

“There are so many ways to build resilience in our communities even during trying times,” said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan. “The breadth of projects funded with these grants helps shore up strengths-based programs that foster healthy and thriving communities.”

Awards of $20,000 went to the North Quabbin Recovery Center in Athol and the Recovery Center of Hope in Ware, serving the Quaboag Hills Region.

“We wanted to give an extra boost to the newer peer recovery centers in the region, which are not yet fully funded by the state as are the Recover Project in Greenfield and the Northampton Recovery Center. We know from experience that peer-focused recovery centers provide essential support to help people in recovery continue on that journey,” said Sullivan. “Recovery Centers are part of creating recovery-supportive communities that leave no one behind.”

The NRC and the Recover Project also received grants of $5,000 each. The NRC, in its earliest years, was supported by the DA’s Office through staff time and funding until it became part of the network of state-funded recovery centers.

Other groups to receive funding include prevention coalitions focused on supporting healthy youth development as well as other youth-serving organizations and community groups working to create healthier, trauma-informed communities. Recipients and the amounts received are as follows:

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• Receiving $4,000 each were: South Hadley Prevention Coalition, Northampton Prevention Coalition, Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition, Greenfield 4SC, Belchertown Boat and Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Program. The grants will support a variety of projects, including pre-prom education supporting healthy decision making, vaping prevention activities and a youth performance troupe that focuses on recovery support.

• The following groups received $7,500 each: Big Brother/ Big Sisters of both Hampshire and Franklin counties, the Athol YMCA and Community Action Youth Programs, in support of efforts to strengthen connections, mentor relationships, leadership development and healthy choices among youth in the region.

• Receiving $5,000 each were: Soldier On, to support services of the Veterans Treatment Court for veterans with substance use disorders and the Trauma Informed Hampshire County. Its trauma network educates about the need to respond to Adverse Childhood Experiences by building resilience and how communities can respond.