Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are announcing $500,000 in federal funding for the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County. The funding was allocated by the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative, which aims to fight the substance use disorder crisis across Appalachia. This grant will provide recovery support, pre-employment development, and vocational training to individuals struggling with substance use disorder and establish partnerships with local employers to help these individuals re-enter the workforce.
“Western New York is on the frontlines of the opioid crisis, and this funding will tackle the heart of this epidemic in Chautauqua County by expanding access to care, giving people the support they need to get back on their feet, and saving lives,” said Senator Schumer. “We need an all-of-the-above approach: more interdiction, prevention, treatment and recovery, to fight the flow of drugs, and more effectively assist those who are suffering from addiction. That is why I am proud to deliver this funding today and why I fought for historic increases for addiction services in the COVID relief bills, and why I will keep fighting increases to these federal programs to give Western New York all the resources they need fight the fentanyl fueled opioid crisis.”
“The pandemic exacerbated our nation’s ongoing substance use crisis and Appalachian communities like those in Chautauqua County have been disproportionately impacted,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will allow the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County to continue to provide free, comprehensive support to individuals struggling with substance use and will give these individuals the tools they need to obtain and maintain stable employment and enter long-term recovery. Community–based initiatives like this one are key to overcoming the substance use crisis and I’ll keep fighting for more federal funding to ensure that organizations like the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County have the resources they need to help as many people as possible.”
Schumer and Gillibrand have been leading advocates for the Appalachian Regional Commission. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Schumer and Gillibrand delivered a historic $1 billion for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) over the next 5 years. Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand joined six of her Senate colleagues in calling for $235 million in federal funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission to support initiatives that address workforce challenges caused by the Appalachian Region’s drug crisis and help diversify the economies of Appalachian communities.
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that invests in projects designed to support economic development in 423 counties across the 13 Appalachian states, encompassing more than 25 million Americans. In Fiscal Year 2021, ARC supported 465 projects totaling over $163 million in federal investment. This federal investment helped attract over $1 billion in local, state, and private funding that resulted in the creation or retention of over 20,000 jobs in Appalachia. More information about the Appalachian Regional Commission’s INSPIRE Initiative is available here.