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UM School of Social Work awarded $2.7 million grant to tackle youth addiction and homelessness

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Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 12:27:11-05

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland School of Social Work won a five-year, $2.7 million federal grant to operate a program aimed at providing treatment and recovery support to Baltimore young people struggling with addiction, housing instability, and homelessness.

The funding was awarded to the school’s Institute for Innovation & Implementation to operate B’More SUCCEEDS (SUccess through Community-based Coordination, Empowerment, Evidence-based interventions, and Direct Supports). The Institute will coordinate efforts among several participating organizations: Youth Empowerment Society (YES) Youth Drop-In Center, HARBEL Prevention and Recovery center, Treatment Resources for Youth (TRY), Baltimore City Health Department, B’More for Healthy Babies, HealthCare Access Maryland, the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, and the PACT’s Therapeutic Nursery at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

To make youth services more focused, coordinating organizations will receive training to expand knowledge, skills and capacity to work with youth. Executive director of YES Blair Franklin said “youth voice is centered throughout the process.”

More than 1,690 youth experience homelessness in Baltimore City, with more than a quarter saying they have children of their own, according to data from Youth REACH MD. More than half of the reporting youth said they are not receiving the help they need. Homeless youth are at an increased risk of victimization, poor mental and physical health, and higher rates of withdrawing from school. If homeless youth are pregnant or parenting, their children face the same risks.

“This grant will enable us to enhance and expand youth-driven, trauma-responsive treatment and support for youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, are pregnant or parenting, and are using substances in Baltimore City, while strengthening existing partnerships among organizations,” said Amanda Miller, MSW, B’More SUCCEEDS project director at The Institute in a statement.

The grant funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.