The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has awarded $10 million to three organizations for the construction of spaces designed to provide treatment and recovery support services for women.
“Women with opioid use disorder have unique care needs and require a broad range of services to meet these needs,” said DHS Secretary-designee Kirsten Johnson. “The facilities built through this grant program will remove barriers to long-term recovery by providing space to supports women with opioid use disorder to succeed in their journey to wellness.”
The funded projects include:
This project will establish the first residential treatment facility in western Wisconsin open to supporting pregnant women and mothers. It serve up to 20 women at one time once construction of a new building in Menomonie is completed in 2025.
This project will add space to an existing residential treatment program in southeastern Wisconsin open to all women that currently has a wait list for admission. The expanded program will be able to serve 60 more women when construction is completed in Glendale in 2024.
- Lighthouse Recovery Community Center, $180,000
This project will create the first space in northeast Wisconsin focused on supporting pregnant women and mothers in need of safe and stable housing for their families while they participate in outpatient treatment. It will be able to house up to seven women at one time when renovations are completed on an existing building in Manitowoc in 2024.
These spaces will serve all state residents who qualify for the services to be provided.
These one-time grants are for construction costs only. They are funded from Wisconsin’s share of National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement funds managed by DHS that were received last year. The funded organizations are responsible for costs related to staffing, program supplies, and materials for the delivery of services.
The National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement funds were awarded in 2022 as part of agreements the Wisconsin Department of Justice entered into with pharmaceutical companies and distributors, settling the state’s legal claims that their actions fueled an epidemic of opioid use disorder, overdoses, and deaths. DHS is expected to receive $130 million over 18 years.
The first payments from the settlement funds were received in the last five months of 2022, totaling nearly $31 million. Based on feedback received through virtual listening sessions and a survey open to all state residents and service providers, and with approval of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, the 2022 funds have been allocated to projects to prevent opioid use, reduce opioid overdoses and other harms from opioid use, expand access to treatment and recovery supports, and enhance data collection efforts to support decisions on the allocation of resources. Tribal nations and law enforcement agencies are receiving a portion of the 2022 funds to support projects unique to their communities and work.
All providers currently offering prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services for people with an opioid use disorder were invited to apply for a share of the $10 million in funding awarded today. The proposals submitted by the grantees most closely aligned with the approved goals of this grant program, which included the readiness of the agency to begin construction on the project and a focus on serving a population or region in need of services. Part of the funding was required to be allocated to projects that support the expansion of bed capacity for the treatment of pregnant women and mothers in a family-centered environment. At least $3 million was required to be allocated to projects in counties with fewer than 500,000 residents.
In partnership with tribal nations, other state agencies, county and municipal agencies, and community organizations, the DHS response to the impacts of opioids use has evolved as the impacts have become greater. The Dose of Reality public awareness campaign was revised last year in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to provide information on how to build supportive communities where prevention works, treatment is effective, and recovery is possible. Naloxone and fentanyl test strips are more widely available to prevent overdoses and deaths. Treatment programs have been expanded and enhanced to focus on the most helpful approaches for care. Recovery supports delivered by people who have experienced the impacts of opioid use have become more accessible, with the peer-to-peer connection shown to be effective in promoting long-term health and wellness.
Learn about services and supports available for opioid use disorder by visiting the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline website or call 211. More information about Wisconsin’s response to the opioid epidemic can be found on the Dose of Reality webpages.