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McConnell, Barr announce grant to help Kentuckians recovering from addiction

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 11:42 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In the midst of the pandemic, the opioid epidemic in Kentucky also continues.

Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Andy Barr visited Isaiah House in Woodford County to announce a large grant to help with long-term recovery:

“It’s obvious that this not a uniquely Kentucky problem, so we moved it to the forefront,” said Sen. McConnell.

In 2018, the congressmen wrote the Career Act to assist individuals and in recovery to render the workforce.

“Not only is a good job part of the recovery process for these is individuals, but it’s also a win because, let’s face it, our employers need these wonderful people,” Rep. Barr said.

The $2.4 million grant to Isaiah House will address employment barriers for people in recovery.

The grant comes from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

It’s the largest federal assistance to go towards the Isaiah House in 22 years.

The grant will help serve more than 6,000 Kentuckians over a five year period. It’ll provide career coaching, skills training, and job placement services for people leaving treatment and returning to the community.

We spoke to some people who said, if it wasn’t for Isaiah House, they would not have gotten a second chance.

“I was in active addiction for over 25 years. I never held down a job. I didn’t take care of my kids,” said Donna Martin.

Martin now works at the Isaiah House, encouraging others to get clean.

Director of Workforce Development Ed Early, who’s also a recovering addict, says people can find jobs in construction, landscaping, and other fields after finishing treatment. He says employers looking for workers are wiling to work with his clients.

“We help people get employed,” Early said. “So, it’s a good marriage, a good marriage.”

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