WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — A local organization that is on the front lines of the opioid crisis is getting a major financial boost, thanks to a federal grant.
Bacon Street Youth and Family Services was just awarded a $2 million federal grant to help homeless adolescents and young adults with addiction and mental health problems.
“We’re so excited!” said Executive Director Kim Dellinger on Thursday at her office in Williamsburg. Her organization will get $400,000 annually – doubling her current budget – for the next five years.
“We feel like we’re barely scratching the surface of addiction and mental health challenges in our community,” said Dellinger.
10 On Your Side first profiled Bacon Street last year as part of our ongoing coverage of opioid addiction and what our region is doing about it.
The organization will use the grant money for clinical, prevention and recovery services for adolescents and young adults.
Dellinger says the problems they address often goes unnoticed. “It might not necessarily look like they’re homeless people, because they might be couch-surfing or staying with a friend for a while.”
With the grant funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Bacon Street can now hire at least six new full time staff members and branch out to three new locations, including the Gloucester, York/Poquoson and Hampton/Newport News areas.
But Dellinger is most excited about being able to serve an additional 1,200 people.”We’ll probably do way more than that, just because our prevention services are growing at an exponential rate.”
Dellinger plans to have the three new operations up and running by January of 2019. She says the real challenge will come five years from now, when Bacon Street will need community support to keep the additional services and locations in existence after the grant money runs out.