U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, has awarded five grants totaling $3,817,765 to Erie and Monroe Counties, The Seneca Nation of Indians, and the City of Buffalo, to address substance abuse and mental health issues in the community.
Erie County will receive $1,200,000 and the Seneca Nation of Indians will receive $595,366 under the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program (COSSAP). The program provides financial and technical assistance to states, local governments, and Indian tribal governments to develop, implement, or expand comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat, and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants, and other drugs of abuse.
Erie County will use its funding to expand its Quick Response to Overdose Program, which includes naloxone distribution/deployment by law enforcement, police remotely referring overdose survivors from the field to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in emergency departments, and connecting survivors to public health peer teams for follow-up and navigation to long-term treatment
The Seneca Nation of Indians will use its funding for the Native Connections Clubhouse Program (SNNCP), which provides opioid, stimulant, and substance abuse education, prevention, and intervention programming. The program connects law enforcement agencies with K-12 students and provides ongoing community support systems for at-risk youth. This project serves the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribe, and includes partnerships between Lakeshore Central Schools and Silver Creek Central Schools.
The City of Buffalo will receive $746,317, and Monroe County will receive $653,199 under the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, which supports cross-system collaboration to improve public safety responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse issues who come into contact with the justice system.
The City of Buffalo and Monroe County will both place social workers and/or mental health professionals in law enforcement agencies to assist officers during encounters with people in mental health crisis. Funds will be used to pay for salaries as well as other expenses such as training and other coordination activities to ensure implementation of the collaborative program.
Additionally, Monroe County will also receive $622,883 under the Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. The Monroe County Office of Probation-Community Corrections will partner with the Monroe County Office of Mental Health to form the Creating Alternative Pathways for Success (CAPS) program. A specialized probation officer will work in collaboration with the juvenile justice and mental health coordinators to identify and streamline case management and services to youth involved in the juvenile justice system with mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse to provide targeted assessment, treatment, and follow-up. The target population will include both diversion and adjudicated youth as well as those placed in juvenile detention who are involved with probation.