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Summit County Opioid Healing Fund awards nearly $350K in first round of grants


Akron Community Foundation's board of directors approved 16 grants totaling $341,485 to nonprofit organizations supporting Summit County residents directly impacted by the opioid epidemic. This is the first round of grants from the Summit County Opioid Healing Fund, which was established earlier this summer by the Opiate Abatement Advisory Council using settlement funds from Summit County's federal opioid trial.

"Small, grassroots nonprofits are playing a critical role in the ongoing opioid epidemic. These groups provide important support and services to those with substance use disorders, as well as to the family members of those struggling. It was important that we acknowledge the important role they play and offer financial support to aid their work in Summit County," said County Executive Ilene Shapiro.

Grants from this fund are targeted to organizations not currently being funded by the Summit County ADM Board, and for programs that offer peer support services, recovery-oriented services and community-based recovery events.

Two of the programs being funded are specifically targeted toward older adults. This group is often overlooked, yet make up a significant portion of individuals dealing with substance use disorders.

"The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that drug abuse affects up to 17% of adults over the age of 60," said Jennifer Hayes, chief financial officer of AxessPointe Community Health Centers. "Healthcare providers often don't look for signs due to insufficient knowledge, and some elderly patients have medical or behavioral disorders that can mimic substance use, disguising their symptoms completely. Targeting this issue in older adults can be a difficult task. Older adults are also more reluctant to enter treatment when compared to their younger counterparts. They oftentimes feel out-of-place in substance use groups, as they are generally composed of much younger members. On the other hand, if older adults do willingly want to seek out help, they may not know where to begin."

A $25,000 grant to AxessPointe will increase awareness about substance use disorders in older adults through a year-long advertising and outreach campaign, with the goal of encouraging those struggling with substance use disorders to reach out for help.

A second grant application process will open on Nov. 15 and remain open until Dec. 10, with grants announced in March.

The following grants were approved during this first round:

  • 3R Foundation, for the Reentry, Reconnect, Restoration (3R) project, which educates both youth and adults about the dangers of opioid use, $20,500
  • Akron Say No To Dope, to increase capacity for the New Beginnings Thrift Store on Kenmore Boulevard, $15,000
  • AxessPointe Community Health Centers, to increase awareness about the issue of substance use disorders in older adults, $25,000
  • Broken Chains Jail & Prison Ministry, to provide recovery services and workforce development programs, $25,000
  • CASA Board Volunteer Association, to provide advocacy support to children exposed to substance abuse, $23,985
  • Freedom House for Women, for the Courage to Change program, which provides peer support services to women with opiate use disorder, $25,000
  • Hope United, to provide grief support groups for Summit County residents who have lost a loved one to addiction, $20,000
  • Keys to Serenity, for the Keys to the Heart Family Program, which is a 12-month program that provides events, as well as educational and assistance programs, to families and children affected by substance abuse in their home, $25,000
  • Legacy III, to assist women with a history of drug addiction in identifying safe and affordable housing, $25,000
  • MODE – Miracles Occur, Days Enriched, to support outpatient and partial hospitalization addiction counseling, $20,000
  • Rachel's Angels, to develop visual media and online content for peer-based prevention presentations at local schools, $15,000
  • Safe Harbor Norton, to provide Level II recovery housing for men in Summit County, $25,000
  • Sarah's House Inc., for a prevention program geared toward individuals over the age of 60, $7,000
  • South Street Ministries, to support the organization's recovery and reentry programs and events, $25,000
  • The Packard Institute, to provide ongoing recovery support and professional development to recovery coaches and other addiction professionals, $20,000
  • Truth & Honor, to provide recovery support services and training opportunities to veteran referrals from the Summit County Valor Court program, $25,000

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 66 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $290 million with a growing family of more than 750 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded more than $198 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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