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W.Va. Sober Living awarded funding to help expand work with incarcerated individuals

West Virginia Sober Living (WVSL) was recently awarded funding through The Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health to support the needs of individuals transitioning from incarceration back into society.

WVSL has expanded its program working with those in the regional jail system awaiting treatment placement and people approved for parole but who have yet to develop a home plan.

The Highmark Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) private, charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life for individuals who live in communities served by Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.

“The tremendous response we received illustrates the true need that exists in our state and remains a struggle for many in our communities,” said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia. “Focusing on improving Substance Use Disorder outcomes supports Highmark Health’s multipronged opioid strategy to combat addiction, and we are thrilled to lend our support to these eight organizations that are accomplishing life-changing work for West Virginians experiencing the effects of SUD.

“The Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health is proud to partner with West Virginia Sober Living on this program grant, which will support the expansion of its SUD-focused initiatives. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these grant funds will make for residents throughout the Mountain State.”

Dan McCawley, WVSL’s director of operations, believes the funding will provide a great benefit to the work.

“Our goal as an organization is to recognize the needs of our community and break down barriers to meet those needs. The faster we can provide individuals the support they need, whether it be stable housing or comprehensive treatment, the better the chance of reducing recidivism and having recovering members of society who contribute to our communities,” he said.

WVSL Executive Director Jon Dower said partnerships such as this are important in facing the state’s addiction crisis head on.

“Overcoming the drug epidemic in our state requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. WVSL has been blessed to be part of the solution for our state’s most vulnerable since 2013. Substance use disorder no longer needs to define us as a state. We have made many strides to improve the long-term success of individuals with this disease; however, many individuals still need assistance. We will do our best to be there in their time of need,” he said.

Families in Monongalia and Kanawha counties seeking treatment access or transitional planning can reach a WVSL peer coach at 304-602-3306.

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