Sandhills ATC Awarded Opioid Settlement Grant

Southern Pines, NC- Sandhills Adult & Teen Challenge (Sandhills ATC) is pleased to report that the organization has been named as a recipient of both state and county funding from the opioid settlement grants deriving from a very large federal lawsuit involving various pharmaceutical companies. North Carolina is set to receive $1.5 billion in settlement funding over the next 18 years and monies are to be used to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and other life-saving measures. In North Carolina, each county was awarded a specific amount of funds and given the responsibility to distribute those funds to programs making an impact in fighting addiction.

Obtaining the funding has been a long, and ever-changing process. Sandhills ATC leadership began first applying for funds in 2022. Senior leaders began working with Rep. Robin Hayes, former Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, and founder of Bridge to 100, a nonprofit geared toward helping faith-based programs obtain funding to support successful, evidence-based treatment that does not offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) services to clients. Bridge to 100 has been instrumental in connecting organizations like Adult & Teen Challenge across the state to elected officials such as Rep. Wayne Sasser and Senator Tom McInnis. Both assisted Sandhills ATC obtain the grants. Additionally, Sandhills ATC has invited Dr. William Clarkson, former Chair of the Business Department at the University of Valley Forge, and an expert in nonprofit enterprises, onto campus to help prepare the team for expansion. Dr. Clarkson has also worked individually with senior staff on how to position the organization for growth as the demand for opioid treatment increases. 

The organization is excited to inform donors about the funding and hopes the award reiterates the confidence placed in Sandhills ATC to help bring relief to what has become a national epidemic. “Funding from this grant allows organizations like ours to redirect much needed donor support to other priorities as our organization is growing,” says Russ Cambria, CEO. “We can now apply targeted county and state funding to budgeted expenses that directly serves to treat those addicted to opiates. It is important to understand that we have always funded these treatment strategies, but had to do so relying solely on the generosity of friends, supporters, clients’ families, and other sources of donations. Now, donor funds previously spent on grant-eligible expenses can be put to use to scholarship those who cannot afford treatment, maintain and upgrade our facilities, expand services to women (coming soon), and potentially open additional Induction Centers within the state.”

Amounts and Timeline of Funding: In 2023-2024, Sandhills ATC will receive up to $289,700 from Moore County, NC, also renewable for 2024-2025, and $78,000 from the State of North Carolina for a total of $657,400. The funds are awarded through reimbursement, directing the responsibility to the organization to first provide the services and then receive funding to cover approved expenses. In the case of Sandhills ATC, these funds will reimburse expenses for transportation of clients, the addition of 2 to 3 certified peer support specialists, a robust client management system (Sober Peer) that also tracks client progress and data, staff training and state certification, and the expansion of services to women in the region.