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Rowan agency receives funds for substance abuse prevention and recovery

Executive director

Karen South Jones is executive director of the Rowan County Youth Services Bureau.

SALISBURY — Rowan County Youth Services Bureau has received a $101,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem to improve substance misuse prevention and recovery services in Rowan County.

The increase locally in opioid use, overdose and death impacts virtually every domain in the field of human services, including physical and mental health care, emergency management, law enforcement, education, justice, social services and business, as well as individual community members whose lives are most directly and deeply affected by substance misuse.

The grant will be used to implement a collective impact model for achieving population-level change in how Rowan County meets the needs for those misusing substances, those in recovery from substance misuse, and those affected by the substance misuse of friends or loved ones.

“Collective impact is not a fancy name for collaboration,” said Karen South Jones, executive director of Youth Services Bureau and author of the grant. “It represents a fundamentally different, more disciplined, and higher performing approach to achieving large-scale social impact. We intend to use the collective impact model to coalesce the disparate entities currently working on substance misuse and recovery issues into a unified, more productive alliance which we believe will result in positive, community-level change.”

Greg Edds, chair of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, voiced his support of this effort.

“The county has been working diligently to assess and to respond to the substance misuse crisis,” Edds said. “This grant will provide training and technical assistance to expand our current efforts, making sure we are including all of the groups and individuals whose personal or professional lives are impacted by substance misuse.”

Rowan County Youth Services Bureau is a nonprofit agency which has been in operation since 1984. Its programs include Teen Court, Juvenile Restitution and Community Service, and Adolescent Sexual Offense Evaluations and Treatment.

In 2017, the agency was awarded a five-year, $625,000 Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant from the White House Office of Drug Control Policy and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) to support YSUP Rowan (Youth Substance Use Prevention), a community anti-drug coalition. The agency is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with Carol Williams Swoope serving as chairperson.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the health and quality of life of financially-disadvantaged residents in North Carolina.

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