Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with rural communities in 22 states to support opportunities for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery.
“With its impact on workforce, quality of life and the economic vitality of rural communities from Maine to California, the opioid epidemic is more than just a matter of public health – it is an issue of rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in planning and building local responses to this monumental challenge.”
USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Community Facilities program. Below are some of the projects USDA is supporting:
In Oakland, Md., the Town Council of Oakland is receiving a $40,700 grant to purchase a police vehicle. The vehicle will be outfitted with equipment and technology to help officers who respond to opioid misuse incidents in the community of more than 1,900.
In Roodhouse, Ill., the Jersey Community Hospital District is receiving a $150,000 grant to purchase and renovate a building that will house the rural health clinic. The facility will provide treatment, counseling, education and outreach to combat the opioid crisis in Roodhouse and White Hall. The Hospital Administration and Governing Board has made addressing substance misuse a priority. The proposed facility will help provide prevention, treatment and recovery for the area’s 4,300 residents.
In Wellsboro, Pa., Harbor Counseling is receiving a $130,600 loan and a $70,200 grant to renovate a facility that will be used for transitional housing for clients receiving substance misuse treatment. Harbor Counseling offers assessment, treatment and recovery for individuals and families dealing with substance misuse and mental health issues. It also provides community education and community support.
“For communities, addiction creates a safety issue on roads, lost productivity in jobs, increased health care demands, and greater need for more emergency response, law enforcement and judicial resources,” said Denise Lovelady, USDA Rural Development State Director. “This is hard for any community, but particularly for rural leaders who are often operating on shoestring budgets. Combating the rural opioid epidemic continues to be a major focus of our work and we expect to assist more communities in 2019.”
Hazlett announced that USDA is making investments in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.