(WJHL) — The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced nearly $14 million was being awarded to substance use projects throughout the area.
ARC stated in a release that 43 projects were receiving funding through the Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative. The initiative seeks to address the ongoing substance use disorder crisis that Appalachia faces.
The INSPIRE Initiative also aims to help those who battle substance use disorder get back into the workforce after receiving treatment and going through recovery.
The projects represent efforts to aid in substance use recovery in 11 states. Monday’s announcement brings ARC’s total investment in Appalachian communities to almost $42 million since April 2021.
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) provided statements on two projects in the Tri-Cities area to receive funding.
The YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia was awarded $500,000 by ARC for its project in Bristol, Virginia, The Power House: A Consolidation of Community Services for Success. According to Griffith, the investment will “lead to about 140 workers/trainees receiving substance use disorder recovery-to-workforce support services,” according to Griffith’s office.
Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap was also a recipient of an INSPIRE award. The college received $493,669 for its Amelioration Expansion Project, which will assist in obtaining employment, work-based training and internships for workers and students in Dickenson, Lee and Wise counties who are also receiving services for substance use disorder.
“Substance abuse remains a real problem throughout the United States, also affecting many in our region,” Griffith said in response to both awards. “ARC’s INSPIRE grant will pay for a variety of family resiliency and recovery-to-work support services for those suffering from a substance use disorder.”