BCF awarded $60,000 grant to combat drug overdose epidemic

BERRIEN COUNTY — The Berrien Community Foundation sought – and won – a $60,000 grant to help in the ongoing fight against drug abuse.

BCF is one of 10 Michigan foundations to receive the Michigan Harm Reduction Project grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Berrien Community Foundation will partner with Carol’s Hope Crisis Intervention Center to increase access to vital, drug-addiction intervention and overdose prevention services in Berrien County.

“This grant opportunity was open only to community foundations and we want to do everything we can to bring additional resources to help in Berrien County,” said BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey . “Lives are saved and families are helped when people are able to access professional resources and counseling services for drug addiction. It also allows our hospitals and law enforcement agencies to focus their time elsewhere. We are so grateful to the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan for making these funds available.”

The grant will help reduce the harm caused by drug addiction in two ways. First, it will increase remote and immediate access to addiction intervention specialists throughout Berrien County, officials said. Second, it will help reduce overdose deaths by educating the community on the availability and use of free naloxone, known as Narcan, kits.

This work will be executed by Carol’s Hope Crisis Intervention Center.  Carol’s Hope is a 24-hour crisis intervention facility that provides a supervised, supportive setting for individuals with substance use and co-occurring disorders. An alternative to emergency room care, the center provides clients a welcoming environment where individuals can develop a recovery plan and connect to services.

“Because Berrien Community Foundation sought out this grant, we will be better equipped to work with people in crisis at the moment they wish to seek help,” said Mike Pioch, Interim CEO for Community Healing Centers, which oversees Carol’s Hope. “Sometimes, even a 15-minute wait to speak to a peer counselor can mean the difference between a substance abuse user getting into treatment programs or continuing with their harmful behavior. We are extremely grateful to BCF for pursuing this grant opportunity.”

Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s overdose epidemic continues to be a leading cause of death for Americans. More than 72,000 Americans lost their lives due to overdoses in 2019, making it the worst year in the nation’s decades-long drug overdose epidemic. Overdose fatalities in Michigan are among the highest in the nation, behind just nine other states. Preliminary data from 2020 suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the trend, both locally and nationally.

Cass County

Former SMC instructor accepts plea deal in sexual misconduct case

Cass County

Vandalia resident sentenced to 10 months in jail for drug offense

Berrien County

Students experiencing homelessness remain hard to identify after year with remote education

Cass County

Dowagiac man heading back to prison on weapons charges

Dowagiac

Earl’s BBQ a hit at Summer in The City

Dowagiac

Local firefighter celebrates 30 years of service

Dowagiac

Emily Schrock returns to SMC in alumni position

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club breaks ground on centennial sign

Buchanan

Podcast tells Buchanan’s story through eyes of its residents

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Fifth annual Open Header Cruise sets participation record

Cass County

Following name change, Heritage Southwest unveils new signs, website

News

Man found hiding in tree fort after deliberately sideswiping another vehicle in Barron Lake Thursday

Dowagiac

Detectives seek charges against two residents following Wayne Township drug investigation

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg museum offering spaces for US-12 garage sale

Dowagiac

Gold medal gymnast Shannon Miller promotes importance of women’s health in new Ascension campaign

Brandywine Education

PAW Inc. to present ‘Legally Blonde Jr.’ this weekend

News

Niles District Library lecture series explores the life of 18th Century British soldier

Business

PHOTO STORY: Young Professionals see good turnout at third annual Paddlin’ Poker Run

Berrien County

Portage Road construction scheduled to begin Monday

Business

New Dowagiac vacation rental hosts Chamber After Hours event

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg mural takes shape

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 14-20

Education

Edwardsburg schools will not require masks, quarantining come fall

Buchanan

New pet grooming spa opens in Buchanan