The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently released a Rural Communities Opioid Response Funding Opportunity. If your program is located in a rural area, this planning grant may be of interest to you and your community partners. We’ve heard from many of you that the opioid drug epidemic is having deep impacts on the families you serve. In rural communities, resources and supports to address these challenges may be scarce.

The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning Grant provides an opportunity to convene community partners and create a strategic path forward for change in the community. The purpose of the grant, per the Funding Opportunity, is to “support treatment for and prevention of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, in rural counties at the highest risk for substance use disorder.” Head Start/Early Head Start grantees are a significant asset in partnering with families and could be a valuable partner for this funding opportunity.

The grant is a 1-year planning grant (September 2018-September 2019), with $15 million available. HRSA expects to make approximately 75 awards of up to $200,000 each. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce challenges with opioid overdoses in high-risk rural communities.

The approach of this grant is to strengthen the capacity of communities (by way of “multi-sector consortiums”) by focusing on prevention, treatment, and/or recovery. The Funding Opportunity defines consortiums as an organizational arrangement among four or more separately owned domestic public or private entities. Among many other types of organizations, consortium members may include health care providers, school systems, MIECHV local implementation agencies, and other social service organizations.

Check out the full list of organizations that may apply for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning Grant and other application requirements by reviewing the Notice of Funding Opportunity posted on the HRSA website. The deadline for applications is July 30, 2018.

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