(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced $1,186,005 in grants from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to support children and youth who are affected by the opioid epidemic. These grants include $749,886 to the New Hampshire Department of Justice and $436,119 to Dartmouth College, and will bolster crime victim services by expanding existing programs and creating new services for children and youth that have been impacted by the opioid crisis.
“Children are some of the most vulnerable victims of the opioid crisis, often facing grave circumstances due to the substance misuse in their homes and communities,” said Shaheen, who secured this funding for the OVC and ensured that it would be focused on children who have been impacted by the opioid epidemic. “This grant will fund efforts to support these victims in New Hampshire, providing critical services and programming that will help keep them safe and improve their health and wellness. No child should face the trauma of experiencing substance misuse disorder in their homes and families, and I will continue to advocate for resources to support Granite State youth who have been impacted by this crisis.”
“The devastating opioid crisis is also endangering children who have suffered trauma at the hands of those struggling with addiction,” said Hassan. “We must do all that we can to help these children overcome the challenges they face and aid them in the healing process. These grants will support young victims and ensure that our children are receiving the resources and care they need to keep them safe from further harm.”
“The opioid crisis doesn’t discriminate based on age, and children are especially vulnerable to the impacts of this devastating epidemic,” said Shea-Porter. “I am pleased that our state will be receiving this essential federal funding to provide Manchester children with the support they need. These services will include mental health care in schools, trauma support groups for students, and training for school staff to help students who are exposed to trauma, including the trauma that occurs when a close family member is struggling with a substance use disorder.”
“Children are far too often the unseen and unheard victims of the opioid epidemic,” said Kuster. “They are the most vulnerable among us and it’s our duty to ensure that they are supported and cared for. This grant will bolster efforts to defend the youngest victims of the opioid epidemic.”
As members of the Common Sense Caucus, Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped secure an additional $6 billion to combat the opioid crisis in the budget deal signed into law in February, and helped ensure that a dedicated portion of that funding would be set aside specifically for states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. Kuster and Shea-Porter pressed House leadership and senior appropriators to include increased funding to combat the opioid epidemic during budget negotiations.
As the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Shaheen helped negotiate a substantial increase in funding for law enforcement and grant resources through the Department of Justice (DOJ), totaling $446.5 million, nearly $300 million more than last year’s funding bill. Notably, Shaheen secured the highest ever level of funding for the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC), which funds this grant, and ensured that OVC grant funding would be focused on children who have been impacted by the opioid epidemic.