In late 2020, IDLARC brought together a group of non-profit organizations, service providers, academics and grass-roots activists from across the United States, with the goal of bringing the community together to push for harm reduction funding at the federal level. This was done out of recognition and concern for the dire need for funding for harm reduction services and programs amidst the ongoing overdose crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A national campaign for harm reduction funding was born.
The newly formed National Campaign for Harm Reduction Funding (NCHRF) issued a letter supported by over 60 organizations requesting substantial funding for harm reduction from the incoming Biden / Harris administration. NCHRF conducted a series of meetings with the transition teams for the White House Oﬃce of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others in the new administration. to advocate for new funding for harm reduction programs in the United States. NCHRF advocated for geographic-based cooperative grants to NGOs and public health agencies involved in the addressing the needs of people who use drugs.
Photo: Kaytee Riek
In March 2021, a new funding stream of $30 million USD for harm reduction programs and services was granted through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – the first ever federal funding solely dedicated to harm reduction. After the grant was announced, NCHRF worked to support federal agencies such as ONDCP and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) throughout the grantmaking process, and to support organizations in obtaining this and other funding for harm reduction programs and services.
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