AP NEWS

Grant Provides a Key to Recovery: Transportation

May 7, 2019

LOWELL -- Sometimes, simply getting to drug treatment can be the biggest barrier.

Thanks to a $2,000 grant provided by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Lowell Community Health Center is now able to remove that obstacle for those in need.

“I’m sure many of us have someone in our family that is suffering from some form of addiction, and we know that that road to recovery has a lot of starts and stops,” LCHC CEO Susan West Levine said.

“Can you imagine being ready to make that decision to go into detox and not be able to get there?” she said.

With the grant funding, LCHC is able to support people who make that decision, West Levine said.

“It’s a journey, and the journey begins with the first ride,” said LCHC Board of Directors Chairman Bruce Robinson.

GLCF provided $1,000 at the beginning of the year and another $1,000 on Monday. The grants come from the GLCF President’s Discretionary Fund, which enables foundation leadership to respond quickly to community needs.

“It’s the small, little barriers that oftentimes becomes the most difficult to get over, and transportation, it pops up in so many different contexts that folks can’t get to where they want to go,” said GLCF President & CEO Jay Linnehan.

“We’re thrilled to be a partner with you guys to try to make a difference,” Linnehan added.

He said state Rep. Dave Nangle’s office originally reached out to him to help solve the problem, and Linnehan was happy to assist. West Levine thanked Nangle and his staff for connecting them to the foundation to make the funding available for patients.

Nangle called reliable transportation “an essential component to effective substance abuse treatment,” and applauded GLCF for its continued efforts to assist local organizations to help those in need.

“Addiction affects families and communities in so many ways, and the (Greater Lowell Community Foundation) is helping to make the difficult transition towards recovery more manageable,” Nangle said.

With the first $1,000 provided, LCHC was able to provide transportation to about a dozen people who otherwise would not have been able to get the services they need.

“Those short dollars have very long-lasting impacts,” West Levine said.

Monday also marked Lowell House’s first day operating of out its new home in the building connected to LCHC.

Robinson welcomed Lowell House, and said he looks forward to “being great neighbors with them for the betterment of the Lowell population.”

West Levine said she and Lowell House CEO Bill Garr have been collaborating for nearly three years to bring the two organizations together in a strategic partnership.

“Together we’re stronger in dealing with people who are suffering from the disease of substance use disorder,” West Levine said. “So having them in our building means that together we can really wrap around services and hopefully attain better outcomes.”

Garr said LCHC is an ideal partner for Lowell House, providing the health care pieces that are missing from the lives of many of the organization’s clients.

“By integrating that care, we’re able to really make a difference and really able to help people sustain their recovery in a meaningful way that we were unable to do in the past,” he said.