Our program was fortunate to have legislators who took the opioid epidemic very seriously. One legislator in particular had a personal connection to the epidemic through a family members struggle with heroin. That legislator championed funding in our state budget for not only our program but funding for programs across the state.
The HOPE (Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education) Agenda (see link) was a set of seven bills passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law in April 2014 which were focused on combating Wisconsin’s heroin epidemic.
Finding Funding Stability
This initiative shows the importance of having a champion on your side who can help you with making the right connections, bringing the right players to the table, and making sure your efforts receive the attention that they deserve. Examples of champions could be legislators, local executives, government leaders, or even ordinary citizens with a belief in the cause. Find your champion.
Finding funding beyond initial program funding can also be a challenge. Again we were fortunate to have had our pilot program funding continue into future budgets, but where else could you find funds?
- The US Department of Justice provides grant funding for a variety of criminal justice related efforts.
- Your state Department of Health Services.
- Your state Department/Division of Public Health.
- Hospitals or health services agencies in your community.
In addition to funding, finding community partners can be a great way to get your program going and to keep it going into the future. Partnering with providers can be a way to leverage funding that you have and they may be interested in providing any grant match that is required.
Grants.gov is another resource where you can find funding for your program. A keyword search of “opioid” garnered 59 matching results of grants available.