Harder Helps Secure $1.2 Million Federal Investment to Help Stanislaus County Battle Opioid Addiction

October 3, 2019
Press Release
Grant Will Allow Stanislaus County to Hire More Personnel

Modesto, CA – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) today announced a federal investment of $1,200,000 to allow Stanislaus County to expand its Community Assessment, Response, and Engagement (CARE) team by hiring a public health nurse, substance use clinician, and a project coordinator to buy recovery housing and emergency shelter vouchers. The investment is being made through the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs. Last month, Rep. Harder wrote a letter of support for the County’s grant application directly to the assistant attorney general requesting full funding.

“I’ve seen the opioid epidemic up close – a buddy of mine from Turlock who went to Modesto High with me ended up passing away not too long after high school because of an overdose – it’s heartbreaking to see, and we always have to do more to stop it,” said Rep. Harder. “This is an all hands on deck effort – and the county clearly gets that. The CARE team is doing great work, and now they’ll have the chance to get more medical expertise because of this grant.”

“This is great news for Stanislaus County,” said Stanislaus County CEO, Jody Hayes. “The opioid epidemic is very concerning for County leadership and has significant implications throughout the community. Stanislaus County launched the Opioid Coalition last year as a means to pull together partners that have some influence on at-risk populations and plan a comprehensive response. This $1.2million dollars has the potential to help a lot by connecting people to treatment, working with community partners to provide peer recovery support, substance abuse and behavioral health treatment and even transitional housing.”

“This grant opportunity allows our community to integrate substance use disorder services directly into the streets and encampments where the services are needed,” said Ruben Imperial, Stanislaus County Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. “We’ve learned that when individuals are ready for services that the quicker the response the better opportunity for positive outcomes.”

The investment will add more staff to CARE’s Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), which currently includes representatives from the Modesto Fire and Police Departments, Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services as well as the County’s Probation Department and Community Services Agency. The MDT also includes representatives from local nonprofit organizations that help the county address the crisis by providing case management and recovery services. The investment is part of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program (COAP). The program is designed to provide federal financial and technical support to help states and local governments to develop and implement comprehensive efforts to address the opioid epidemic.

Rep. Harder is a leader in efforts to help address the heroin and opioid epidemic in the Central Valley. In May, he worked to pass his legislation through the House of Representatives which would help people with addictions get better access to treatment.