Community Resilience and Recovery Initiative: Final Evaluation Report. Sustainability

03/27/2014

Several aspects of the CRRI project in Union City will continue. For example, at least six staff of CRRI will remain in new positions and continue to share their expertise in the community. In addition, service agency staff have a newfound appreciation for preventive care and the value of increasing intellectual capital in the community through staff training. CRRI provided a stimulus and an incentive for various agency staff to collaborate with mental health and substance use organizations, the FQHC and the city school district and these connections will continue. During the placement of the substance use program in the schools many other staff, counselors and teachers as well as parents and youth received education about the importance of both prevention and treatment strategies and this level of awareness and knowledge will remain. New linkages with the Department of Corrections were developed during the project and these connections will continue.

The CRRI grant has also leveraged additional resources. Union City applied for and was awarded funding for a Drug Free Communities grant that will help with the sustainability of some elements of the adolescent prevention work.

Finally, the benefit this project revealed of working closely with the Mayor's Office was noted. So strong was the effect of this that a new position was created at the end of the project to foster the involvement of the Mayor's Office and staff in future grant projects.

Many of the tangible services will not be continued due to a lack of funding. The HIRED program will not continue, and the one job expert position at the North Hudson program has now moved to a position with the Veterans Administration. Screening will not be able to continue due to lack of funding, although the community appreciation for the usefulness of screening and for community outreach was engaged. Sustainability of the school program at the same level is doubtful as the substance abuse counselor took a new position and the schools have not filled the position. Substance use and mental health services for adolescents in Union City remain problematic. Programs for youth are limited and courts tend to prefer services in hospitals; these services are limited, however, and are often only provided outside of the county. This creates challenges for families on limited incomes who often have transportation difficulties or work multiple jobs including night shift positions. Transportation, especially for the high school program and after school care, is another critical service gap in this community.

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