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GROWing Opportunities To End Substance Use

Grantee Feature Story

This story is associated with a fiscal year 2018 award made to the City of Dayton (Ohio) (grantee agency), WestCare Ohio/East End Community Services (subgrantee agency) through the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program. The grant award amount was between $400,000 and $499,999.

About the Program

Get Recovery Options Working (GROW) is a coordinated, multi-disciplinary mobile crisis response team that includes staff from the Dayton Police Department, EMTs from the Dayton Fire Department, and a Certified Peer Supporter (CPS). GROW responds to opioid overdose calls across Dayton and connects overdose survivors and their family and friends with treatment and community outreach services, recovery support, and overdose prevention education.

Program Successes and Effect on the Community

Success stories from the GROW program include:

  • An individual who was contacted through the GROW team worked with the CPS to successfully complete treatment and recovery services, obtain employment, and secure safe housing within the community. Their child had been placed in foster care due to neglect and parental substance use. The CPS helped the family make the changes necessary to be reunited with their child.
  • A woman released from Dayton Correctional Institution during the COVID-19 pandemic faced significant reentry challenges due to the limited number of providers able and willing to work with people during that time. When she was introduced to peer support through GROW, she found someone who believed she could be successful and became the best example of self-motivation and determination. After 10 years in prison, she not only reintegrated back into society as a productive citizen – securing a home, working full time, paying bills, and rebuilding family relationships with support from her peer – she also went back to school and earned her CPS certification. She began to see every day as an opportunity to show others that you can change your life if you choose a different path.
  • Through a community outreach program, the GROW team visited people living in homeless “camps” across the city who had nowhere to live other than a tent, abandoned building, or other uninhabitable structure. In one of these locations, the team identified a person dealing with substance use issues and learning disabilities that significantly decreased their ability to find and retain support services, including housing. GROW referred them to the Montgomery County Housing outreach team, which worked with this person to secure safe housing, and worked with partners to find furniture and other items they needed to make the apartment a home. This person also received recovery and behavioral health services. But they said the best part of the process was taking a shower and getting clean clothes for the first time in years. This individual was grateful for the support they received. It was only through creating partnerships, conducting continuous outreach, and building trust that this change occurred.

If your agency, organization, or community has been positively impacted by BJA funding, let us know.

Date Published: January 18, 2023