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USDA Partners with Communities to Support Opioid Treatment, Prevention and Recovery Services in Rural America

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date

Minnesota State Director for Rural Development today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with Clear Waters Life Center to support opioid treatment, prevention and recovery services.

   “The U.S. is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths that continues to rise in rural areas,” Finstad said. “USDA understands urgency of the opioid crisis, and through partnership with rural communities is investing in essential infrastructure and equipment for treatment, prevention, and recovery services.”

    Clear Waters Life Center is receiving a $25,100 Community Facilities Grant to expand use of its current facility and services by the surrounding four communities of Gonvick, Clearbrook, Bagley, and Gully. The Center offers several programs and services to more than 2,200 residents, including the “Mustard Seed Program,” which offers on-site counseling, workforce training, and community re-entry skills for clients with drug and alcohol addictions.   

   Finstad’s announcement is coordination with Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett’s nationwide announcement that USDA is investing $10.7 million for 85 projects in 22 states through the Department’s Community Programs division. 

   Hazlett announced 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.

   “USDA is helping to address this national crisis by partnering with communities to build an effective response to this significant challenge,” Hazlett said. “The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting the health, quality of life and long-term prosperity of many rural places. USDA is investing in treatment, prevention and recovery services that help people rebuild their lives and will help communities have healthy, productive citizens.”

   USDA has many resources that can be used to help communities address the opioid epidemic. Earlier this summer, the Department launched an interactive map with information about actions and resources to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment and recovery opportunities. USDA also has developed a Rural Opioid Misuse webpage to help communities share information about best practices to address the crisis.

   Below are more examples of the projects USDA is supporting:

  • In Newport, Ark., the White River Women’s Shelter is receiving a $150,000 grant to convert the former Jackson County Jail into a shelter for people recovering from opioid misuse. The shelter will provide housing and support services. It has partnered with Families, Inc. to provide substance abuse counseling for all ages on an individual, couple, family and group basis. It will primarily serve residents in Jackson County.

  • 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 efforts to combat the opioid crisis in Roodhouse and White Hall. The Hospital Administration and Governing Board has made addressing substance misuse a priority, and the proposed facility will help provide prevention, treatment and recovery services. This project will benefit 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 support services for individuals and families dealing with substance misuse and mental health issues. It also provides community education and community support/development services.

  • The village of Harrison, Neb., is receiving a $31,800 grant to purchase an electric cot for the rescue unit’s ambulance. The current cot is not electric and requires first responders to wait for additional help to load and unload a patient, wasting precious time. Decreasing the amount of time to transport a patient is especially vital considering the nearest hospital is an hour away from the village. The new cot will assist rescue personnel to transport patients suffering from substance overdoses and physical or mental health emergencies.

   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/mn.