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United Way
Indiana 211

UNITED Against Opioid Abuse

08/31/2017

United Way Announces AmeriCorps Position

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

KOKOMO, IN - United Way of Howard County has received grant funding to address substance abuse in Howard County through a three year program aimed at more fully understanding the issues facing addicts, their families, and the resources available or needed to help.

UNITED Against Opioid Abuse is a collaborate initiative with AmeriCorps, Indiana United Ways, and local United Ways in Howard, Clinton, Grant, Jackson, Jennings, Madison, Montgomery, Porter, Sullivan and Vigo counties.

“United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community,” said United Way of Howard County President Abbie Smith. “Right now, one of the biggest threats to all three of those in families is substance use disorder – a point driven home by the fact that it’s present in over half of DCS cases in Indiana.”

Opioid abuse was highlighted during 2016 and 2017 for a group of volunteers and advocates within United Way of Howard County called Women UNITED. Women UNITED is a group of women who came together in a grassroots effort to bring attention to issues in the community facing women and families. In fall of 2016, they hosted “A Conversation with the Candidates” asking candidates for local elected offices about complex issues, most stemming from substance abuse.

“As we discussed issues facing women, it became clear that many issues were interconnected, and many more involved substance abuse,” said Jessica Green, Vice Chair for Volunteer Activities for UW, the committee that oversees Women UNITED.

“We’ve continued the conversations with women since our candidate forum, and it’s clear that this issue is growing and remains top of worried minds for so many families in Howard County,” said Tara Scott, 2017 Chair for Women UNITED. “We are really excited to dig deeper into the issue through the AmeriCorps member. We are approaching the issue with ‘respect for people’ as our number one priority. We will be asking more questions than offering answers at this point.”

Women UNITED will be leading a conversation surrounding the opioid epidemic as well as other conversations on September 26 at 5:30 p.m. at UAW Hall 685. Women UNITED meet once a month at various locations across the community.

“We know that many people are working on this issue, and we are hoping to join the fight for families and provide a better understanding of the issue,” said Smith. “Working with other counties, UWs, and AmeriCorps members across the state will provide a valuable perspective on local work.”

To learn more about becoming an AmeriCorps member or to apply for the full time, temporary UNITED Against Opioid Abuse position, please go to: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=75782&fromSearch=true