BALTIMORE—Open Society Institute-Baltimore is investing $772,000 to support 23 organizations working with Marylanders who use drugs, are incarcerated, or were recently released from incarceration, and thus at increased risks of contracting COVID-19, suffering a fatal overdose, or being re-incarcerated. OSI chose grant recipients based on applications submitted in response to a request for proposals published in April.
“Our goal was to invest in organizations that are on the ground and providing critical support to individuals among those most at risk as a result of the pandemic and the related economic impact,” says Tara Huffman, director of OSI’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, which jointly administered the grants with OSI’s Addiction and Health Equity Program. “These are organizations working tirelessly, very often with insufficient resources, to save lives. As the pandemic persists, we hope these funds will allow them to sustain and even scale up their efforts.”
“This grant from OSI will allow Voices of Hope to meet the increased demand for Narcan, harm reduction services and recovery support of individuals in Cecil and Harford Counties,” says Jennifer Tuerke, Executive Director of Voices of Hope, a Cecil County-based advocacy organization led by people in recovery that received $30,000 in general support. “The demand for services has increased over 100% since COVID. Without this funding, our outreach and services would have been significantly reduced. We are grateful for OSI and their expanded reach into more rural areas of Maryland, where overdose deaths are shockingly high.”
“These investments are a key component in OSI’s overall COVID response,” says OSI-Baltimore Director Danielle Torain. “Our goal from the beginning of the pandemic has been to work closely with people and organizations on the ground to identify ways to support those most impacted by the pandemic and corresponding economic downturn. These investments do exactly that.”
Thank you OSI!!!