The Substance Abuse Public Funding Board gave its approval for a proposal put forth by the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress aimed at better serving the community. The Substance Abuse and Advisory Accountability Committee met in late September and approved plans to establish ASAP as a nonprofit corporation. Jeff Jones, ASAP executive director, explains that the local drug problem is not going away anytime soon. With that, he explains that there needs to be a more permanent presence, as well as a hub to help those suffering from addiction.
ASAP is seeking $494,925 in 2019 funding from the city of Columbus and Bartholomew County to set up a hub location at the Doug Otto United Way Center. That money would be used to rent the approximately 2,700 square foot space, as well pay for permanent staffing. Jones explained that between the new ASAP and the hub, four full-time employees and one part-time employee would be needed, along with volunteers.
Jones explains that this ASAP Hub is one of ten “critical elements” in establishing a substance abuse support system. Through this hub, adults and families will be able to learn about, and receive, treatment. Currently, there is no centralized location or contact information available to those who need or want treatment.
If ASAP is granted nonprofit corporation status, that would allow the the organization to apply for state and federal grants that could offset future expenses. However, Jones says that likely will not impact ASAP’s financial outlook for 2019.
The Substance Abuse Public Funding Board unanimously approved the request and is suggesting that the city and county each cover 50 percent of the cost. Both the Columbus City Council and Bartholomew County Council would need to give their approval before any money is spent.