Community Resilience and Recovery Initiative: Final Evaluation Report. Loss of Funding for CRRI

03/27/2014

As noted previously, the original RFA indicated that monies could be available for up to 4 years for the CRRI programs. Ultimately, however, grantees received just 2 years of funds to implement their programs. This change in anticipated funding did more than just halve the time for implementation; it also shifted grantees' focus from program development to sustainability. This was a significant change given that grantees were only 1 year into the initiative and thus still troubleshooting various aspects of implementing their proposed programs. It also generated uncertainty for many staff who had anticipated being employed with the program for up to 4 years. It is a testament to the grantees' commitment to their communities that they continued to enroll and serve clients throughout the second year of funding and, indeed, during the time periods when they were operating with carryover monies. In addition, and as we describe in the site summaries in the next chapter, each grantee was able to sustain at least one or more component of its program. These are incredible accomplishments under any circumstances, much less the ones faced by these three grantees. It should be recognized, however, that by the start of the second year of funding, grantees' activities had shifted from their intended focus.

Another implication of the change in funding is that Westat's evaluation design shifted as well. The two remaining site visits that were planned to each of the three grantee communities shifted from focusing on implementation processes to providing an assessment of sustainability. The first of these two visits, in September 2012, focused on grantees' perceptions of the value of the initiative to their community and what steps they planned to take to sustain the service delivery model when funding ended. The second set of visits occurred in October 2013 after any carryover funds had been expended and projects were closed. Site visitors were to explore what elements of the programs actually had been sustained and what organization(s) in the community had continued with those CRRI project efforts. The deliverable from these visits is included as the site summaries in Chapter 3 of this report, and details grantees' innovations, challenges and accomplishments. Consistent with the original contract modification, Westat produced an outcomes report using SAIS data from the grantees. That report is included as Chapter 4 in this document.

What the reader will find in the next two chapters is documentation of an initiative that appears to have been successful in many facets of its implementation. Site summaries detail grantees' incredible efforts on behalf of their communities, and data on enrolled clients indicates an increase in employment among participants and a decrease in behavioral health symptoms over the course of their participation in the program. Although the RFA specified the service delivery approach and target population of this initiative, the reader will find that grantees created variations on the specified "theme" consonant with the perceived needs of their communities. These innovations resulted in three non-comparable programs for the evaluation, but reflect the wisdom of SAMHSA's philosophy that local problems require local solutions.

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