United Way of Eastern Maine is announcing an urgent call to action for local nonprofits that serve populations battling substance use disorder to apply for UWEM’s recently released crisis funding. In addition to $143,000 in annual budgeted funding committed to our community to fight this epidemic, United Way is announcing an additional $25,000 in funding that has now been made available for nonprofit support services in Eastern Maine.
The crisis is real. Over the past year, Penobscot County has accounted for 19 percent of the state’s overdose death rate despite only holding 11 percent share of the overall population. More Mainers died from drug overdoses this past January than in any month in 2020, and last year had marked the deadliest year on record of Maine’s opioid epidemic making it one of the state’s most pressing health concerns.
“Tragically, a large percentage of Mainers have personally felt the painful effects of losing a friend, a neighbor, a loved one or even a child to the crisis. We know that the pandemic has exacerbated the impact on our community and we want to do everything we can to battle this disease” says Shirar Patterson, president and CEO of the United Way of Eastern Maine.
The data is undeniable and only strengthens UWEM’s Opportunity 2028 Goal of helping to prevent, treat and support recovery from substance use disorder. United Way of Eastern Maine will prioritize funding for proposals that meet at least one of the following objectives: Increase access to accessible and affordable treatment and recovery resources; Increase access to prevention programming/youth programs to increase resiliency; Strategies to reduce stigma. Please submit your grant funding requests to: www.opportunity2028.com/sudgrants.