ARC seeking applicants for grants to address substance abuse

Published 9:58 am Friday, January 27, 2023


Kentucky Today

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced Tuesday it is seeking applicants for grants to help Appalachian communities address the substance use disorder crisis in their 13-state service area.

Email newsletter signup

The grants are part of their INSPIRE Initiative, which stands for Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems. The program is meant to address the disproportionate impact of the substance use disorder crisis on Appalachian communities and workforces, with investments of up to $13 million in projects that create or expand services in the recovery ecosystem and help facilitate workforce entry and re-entry.   

Awards issued through the INSPIRE Initiative will support a wide range of projects on the post-treatment to employment continuum, including the development or expansion of recovery-focused job and workforce training programs, recovery support networks and specialists, cross-sector recovery-focused partnerships, wraparound services, and more.

ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin says substance use disorder has become an epidemic in Appalachian communities, with impacts throughout the region.

“At ARC, we understand that while substance use disorder is a health issue, it is a workforce and community development issue as well, which requires a continuum of support services from across the community. Our INSPIRE initiative facilitates partnerships across the recovery ecosystem that not only provides help to those in recovery, but also hope and purpose as it sets them on sustainable career paths that will strengthen our entire Appalachian workforce.”

Successful INSPIRE grant applications will demonstrate the potential for individuals in recovery to obtain and maintain stable employment.  Projects may include enhanced support services in the recovery ecosystem, strategies to integrate plans with existing state and regional economic development activities, and community and partnership-based approaches for stronger coordination among services and providers.

Addiction touches so many of our families and it’s crucial we do what we can to help those struggling overcome by offering hope and support,” said Gov. Andy Beshear, who was recently elected ARC 2023 States’ Co-Chair. “INSPIRE grants will help our fellow Americans find a pathway to recovery so they can lead full, healthy lives, while also supporting our Appalachian businesses with a skilled workforce.”

Since INSPIRE was established in April of 2021, ARC has invested $28.5 million in 84 projects across 289 Appalachian counties.