SOUTHINGTON — A wellness grant from the Bradley Barnes trust will help local groups educate teachers on drug trends, fund treatment for addicted youth and provide more counseling for families.
Main Street Community Foundation, which oversees the Bradley Barnes and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust, gave $25,600 to LISA Inc., a local non-profit which is partnering with the Southington Town-Wide Effort to Promote Success and the town’s Youth Services.
On Election Day, teachers received education on drug trends, including paraphernalia. Youth Services employees have also been trained on drug intervention, according to Kelly Leppard, youth prevention specialist.
Only non-profit organizations are eligible for Barnes trust grants, according to Susan Sadecki, Main Street Community Foundation president and CEO.
She is pleased that the grant was fostering collaboration, prompting groups to pool resources and skills.
“I think what was really important about this grant was the collaboration between three different organizations,” she said.
Part of the grant will help identify youths who are addicted and provide treatment. Sadecki said STEPS’s federal grant is limited to prevention and that this grant expands intervention for those addicted.
It also funds a second night of family counseling each month through Youth Services. Families meet with a licensed counselor through the Hope and Support Group.
“This is everything. This is prevention, intervention, this is the support families need,” Sadecki said.
LISA Inc. has offices on Executive Boulevard in Southington. A criteria of the Barnes grant was that the recipient organization have an address in Southington.
The group serves children who have been removed by the state from homes and provides leadership and life skills training. Addiction prevention is part of LISA Inc’s curriculum, according to executive director Kim Selvaggi.
After moving administrative offices to Southington two years ago, the group wanted to provide needed services in town.
“This collaboration (with STEPS and Youth Services) seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Selvaggi said.
Leppard said her group is also glad to be working with LISA Inc.
“They are such a well-known, such a well-respected organization,” she said.
Selvaggi is hoping the grant will show results and lead to more funding for prevention and intervention.
“We hope we can demonstrate some really good outcomes,” she said.
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