Florida Keys News
Friday, June 1, 2012
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$100K divvied up to prevent, treat addiction

A county-appointed board Thursday divvied up more than $109,000 in federal and local funding to eight Florida Keys nonprofits that asked for money to prevent and treat addiction as well as crime.

"We're going to use the money to target kids in the community who are at-risk and offer them some services," said Dan Dombroski, executive director of the county's Boys Girls Club, which has centers in Key West and Big Pine Key.

The $16,499 will pay for staff to run the centers on evenings or Saturdays, said Dombroski. Kids will meet in small groups to learn about subjects that range from the dangers of addiction to how to properly brush teeth.

While Dombroski's staff aims for prevention, agencies such as Samuel's House, the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) and the Guidance/Care Center asked for funds to help extricate men and women from the cycle of addiction that includes frequent stays in the county jail.

The care center asked for $45,000 to pay a full-time counselor and a portion of an administrator's salary for its jailhouse drug treatment program for women, but received $16,500.

SHAL received the $6,000 it requested, citing a need to help homeless men and women through its 6-month-old mobile outreach project, which put a recreational vehicle on Key West streets to offer services to people who haven't taken advantage of social services.

The 17-member Substance Abuse Policy Board, which includes representatives from the State Attorney's Office, the public defender, Police Department, mental health providers and the School District, met in Key West to announce the countywide allocation of the funds.

For fiscal year 2013, Monroe County's take from this federal government fund is $82,496.

This year, the volunteer board agreed to kick in $27,029 from the county clerk's "drug abuse trust fund," an interest-bearing savings account that comprises fines and fees levied by judges.

Each of the eight nonprofits that applied received something, though originally the requests totaled $216,785. The money was distributed to the following agencies:

• Drug Court: $13,536

• Samuel's House: $16,499

• Be the Change/Monroe Youth Challenge: $16,499

• Florida Keys Outreach Coalition: $7,493

• Heron-Peacock: $16,499

• Guidance/Care Center: $16,500

• Boys & Girls Club: $16,499

• Southernmost Homeless Assistance League: $6,000

The annual grant distribution comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, run by the U.S. Department of Justice, and funneled through state and then county governments.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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