JAFFREY — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen visited a local addiction-recovery service Tuesday on the first stop of her “Invest in New Hampshire” tour, aimed at highlighting the federal funding she has recently helped secure for Granite State organizations.
Reality Check Inc. will soon be awarded a $145,000 federal grant, administered through the government funding bill recently signed into law for fiscal year 2023. More than $111 million has been allocated for New Hampshire-based projects.
At the Turnpike Road facility on Tuesday, Shaheen, D-Madbury, spoke with officials of the nonprofit — which provides drug and alcohol prevention resources, education, treatment and recovery services — about its work, as well as how the funding will be implemented.
CEO and Founder Mary Drew said the grant will be used to support three established programs.
The first is a recovery coach training series, which will teach Granite Staters how to become recovery coaches, a form of peer support, to meet the need for these positions. The trainings will be available twice a year, according to Drew.
Reality Check also plans to use the federal dollars to continue offering stipends of $25 per hour, plus gas cards, for its coaches. These positions, Drew noted, are often voluntary.
“They need to be paid for what they do,” she said.
Lastly, Drew said the nonprofit will be offering an employer conference later this year to help organizations become recovery-friendly employers.
The training includes providing crisis intervention, support referrals to counseling and treatment, policy modification and budget strategies to reduce the costs related to untreated substance-use issues.
Toward the end of her one-hour visit Tuesday, Shaheen — who noted this was her first stop in the Monadnock Region since August — asked what else Reality Check needs.
Drew said that, while the grant is “wonderful,” there needs to be more funding available to support programs like Reality Check.
“I cannot ask a school district or another municipality to put money, they have no money, to put toward sustaining the prevention. Without prevention, we’re always going to be pulling people out of the river,” she said.
Aside from Reality Check, Shaheen also visited Turning Points Network in Claremont — a crisis center for survivors of domestic and sexual violence — on Tuesday, according to spokeswoman Sarah Weinstein.
The nonprofit secured $162,000 to purchase and install a security system, a phone system that includes its 24-hour crisis line, office equipment and office furnishings.
As part of the tour, Shaheen will visit other organizations across the state in the coming weeks.
She said that her stop in Jaffrey — and the remainder of her tour — is allowing her to see firsthand how organizations are utilizing federal dollars.
“It’s a great opportunity to see how they’re going to use the funding in ways that will be important for the community,” Shaheen said.