OCF grants target meth; emphasis put on families

Local efforts to prevent methamphetamine use and break the cycle of addiction secured the largest portion of nearly $2 million in private grants awarded recently.

OnTrack Inc., a Medford drug treatment center, received more than $265,000 from the Reed & Carolee Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF). OnTrack's Home Program, Whole Family Project and collaboration with Jackson County Health and Human Services all have proven track records and garnered OCF grants last year, said Executive Director Rita Sullivan.

"The theme for us is these are family strengthening programs aimed at having babies born drug-free," Sullivan said.

Offsetting reduced government funding for residential treatment, OCF's grant will add four beds to the Home Program, which became the state's first treatment facility in 1989 to house women with their children, Sullivan said.

The program expanded to serve men with children in 1993. Approximately 300 parents and children are served every year with an average stay of three to four months.

New in 2006, OnTrack's Whole Family Project subsidizes eight apartments for six months and funds extensive recovery services for 16 participating families. The county health department's ongoing Healthy Babies program provides early intervention for pregnant women at a high risk for using alcohol or drugs.

"It has proven to be so effective," Sullivan said.

OCF awarded an additional $122,000 to the county's Meth Task Force and several participating agencies.

Those grants will allow Southern Oregon Child and Family Council to rapidly respond to meth-affected families, strengthening and stabilizing them while addressing barriers to treatment and recovery. The county health department's Project Jumpstart will continue to deliver early intervention and follow-up services to pregnant meth addicts. Southern Oregon Drug Awareness plans to provide after-school and summer youth programs and parenting resources.

Addictions Recovery Center of Medford also received $29,000 to expand treatment and case management for meth-dependent mothers.

The following is a list of the largest grants:

  • Community Health Center — $188,000 to fund mental health and outreach services for students and families in the Eagle Point, Butte Falls and Prospect school districts; to improve oral health of children in the Upper Rogue Valley; and to provide emergency prescription assistance for low-income and disabled people.
  • La Clinica del Valle Family Health Care Center — $175,000 to fund dental health services for low-income children and provide community education about oral health.
  • Kids Unlimited — $150,933 to support an integration center providing medical, mental health and social services to high-risk youth; fund after-school programs for McLoughlin Middle School and Washington Elementary School students; and to support drug prevention and youth service programs.
  • ACCESS — $113,637 to support the Food Share Emergency Food Pantry Network and provide financial assistance for low-income families.
  • United Way of Jackson County — $100,000 to support planning for a long-term project supporting efforts of a local coalition of agencies.
  • Kids Health Connection — $98,764 to expand a mental health program for uninsured children at Washington, Oak Grove and Phoenix elementary schools.
  • Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries — $85,000 to support Steps to Success, which helps low-income families transition from welfare to work.
  • Jackson County Relief Nursery — $78,574 to support the Family Nurturing Center, an infant-development and respite care program.
  • Medford School District 549C — $73,000 to expand intervention and prevention programs for at-risk youth and those exposed to domestic violence and to support an on-site nurse for pregnant and parenting teens.
  • Community Works — $63,145 to fund alcohol and drug services and children's mental health programs.
  • St. Vincent de Paul — $50,000 to provide emergency rent and utility assistance to the needy.
  • Other recipients: Arts Council of Southern Oregon, Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, Ashland Family YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley, Butte Falls School District, CASA of Jackson County, Children's Dental Clinic of Jackson County, Jackson County School District No. 6, Kids Imagination Discovery Center, Magdalene Home, Lively Oak Housing Corporation, Phoenix Counseling Center Inc., Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation, The Salvation Army Medford Citadel, Upper Rogue Community Center Inc., Wilderness Trails Inc.

Call Sarah Lemon at 776-4487; e-mail slemon@mailtribune.com.

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