WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), announced today Kentucky will receive $1.116 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the transitional housing pilot program established under Senator McConnell’s Comprehensive Addiction Recovery through Effective Employment and Reentry (CAREER) Act.
The CAREER Act, which Senator McConnell secured in the landmark opioid package signed into law in 2018, helps address the devastating impact of substance abuse on America’s workforce by connecting recovering individuals with career services and stable housing opportunities. The CAREER Act’s transitional housing pilot program will support long-term recovery by providing funding for temporary housing opportunities for individuals until they can arrange a more permanent living situation. In 2019, Senator McConnell, as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured $25 million for the pilot program, and Kentucky will be one of the highest recipients of funding under this program.
“As Senate Majority Leader, fighting the opioid and substance abuse epidemic and helping Kentuckians in recovery get back to work has been one of my top priorities,” said Senator McConnell. “Kentuckians who find themselves trapped in the cycle of addiction often need assistance to find stable living and employment, which are vital to their long-term recovery. This HUD funding will help Kentucky organizations support individuals transitioning from treatment back into the workforce until they can secure a permanent housing arrangement.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 2018 saw the first nationwide decline in drug overdose deaths since 1990. Kentucky’s overdose fatalities fell by nearly 15% — the largest drop in more than a decade — and the rate declined by 5% nationwide.
Since becoming Majority Leader in 2015, Senator McConnell has prioritized the fight against the opioid and substance abuse epidemic by increasing federal funding for the response. Under McConnell’s leadership, Kentucky has received more than $240 million. Last year, Senator McConnell worked with the University of Kentucky to help secure an $87 million competitive federal grant to address the opioid crisis in high-risk communities. He has also helped secure the inclusion of some of Kentucky’s hardest-hit counties in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to promote coordination and support for law enforcement in Kentucky.
Senator McConnell consistently draws attention to Kentucky’s prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts with the President’s Cabinet and federal agencies. Multiple Drug Czars, the federal official responsible for coordinating the national response, have visited Kentucky at his request to see the innovative work being done in the Commonwealth. Most recently, last year Director Jim Carroll visited Louisville, Northern Kentucky, and Eastern Kentucky.
In 2018, President Trump signed into law the landmark opioid and substance abuse bill Senator McConnell helped shepherd to enactment. In addition to the CAREER Act – which Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) supported in the House — the legislation contained the Senator’s Protecting Moms and Infants Act, which authorized an increase in federal funding to help babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
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