News Department

Hunterdon County Opiate Settlement Fund Taskforce conducts community survey, makes recommendations on funding priorities

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County Commissioner Board unanimously approved a resolution giving the Hunterdon County Opiate Settlement Fund Taskforce (OSFT) priority to make recommendations for the use of funding that benefits County residents.

At the Dec. 13, 2023, OSFT meeting, members conducted a needs assessment survey for the County which included a community survey, an agency survey, a virtual listening session, and an in-person listening session to further explore the funding priorities of the opiate crisis with providers and people with lived experiences.

Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren, who also serves as the liaison to the Department of Human Services said, “The County of Hunterdon and this Board recognizes that the opiate crisis continues to impact our residents and fully supports the recommendations made by this taskforce.”

Taskforce members voted in favor of the following funding priorities:

  • Community Education, Survey recipients indicated that greater awareness and education is
    needed on what services are currently available within the county, and how to access this information.
  • Transportation, Accessible transportation is a barrier to treatment expressed by community members and providers. Expanded transportation is needed to increase all levels of assistance to substance use disorder treatment, including transportation to meetings and to employment.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), There are limited services in Hunterdon County to assist with MAT. To obtain certain types of medication, community members must travel out of County.
  • Housing, Community members and providers noted that sober living options are scarce in Hunterdon County.
  • Hope One Van, The Hunterdon County Hope One van was originally a retired LINK vehicle. This program interacts with over 1,500 people per year providing outreach, education, and provides free naloxone.

Following Board approval for the above priorities, the next step is to hold a public meeting to announce the priorities and solicit additional feedback. Once the feedback is reviewed, the taskforce would like to request letters of intent from providers to help build a more robust request for proposals (RFP).

The National Opiate Settlement funding will be received until 2038, and the Department of Human Services recognizes the initial priorities that have been recommended and anticipates there will be future opportunities to pivot and navigate the use of the available funds.

“I am proud that in Hunterdon County, both the Department of Human Services and the Health Department have partnered to bring resources, education, and services to the community to address the opioid epidemic through the Opiate Settlement Taskforce. This Commissioner Board will continue to support initiatives designed to raise awareness about opioid misuse in New Jersey and take steps to prevent addiction and increase access to treatment,” Van Doren said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Back to top button