RISE reviews the latest news related to the social determinants of health (SDoH).

Justice Department announces $31M in grants for underserved populations, culturally specific services

The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) announced it will grant nearly $31 million in upcoming awards to improve outreach, services, and support for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking from underserved communities and culturally specific populations. OVW Acting Director Allison Randall announced the funding at the 2022 National Conference on Domestic Violence.

  • The OVW’s Grants to Enhance Culturally Specific Services and Sexual Assault Services-Culturally Specific Programs will award a combined total of $18,315,762 through 59 grants to promote community-based programs that offer culturally and linguistically specific services.
  • Under the Grants for Outreach and Services to Underserved Populations Program, OVW will award $4,499,858 to 10 grantees to provide victim services and deploy outreach strategies tailored to the needs of survivors from underserved populations.
  • OVW’s Disabilities Grant Program will award $4,119,788 for 10 projects to build community-wide capacity to provide accessible, safe, and effective services for survivors with disabilities and deaf individuals.
  • Under the Abuse in Later Life Program, OVW will award $3,650,833 to six grantees to create multidisciplinary partnerships for a comprehensive approach to address elder abuse.

“It is imperative that we think about barriers that stand between survivors and their access to justice, safety, and healing– including barriers in our own services and systems–and commit ourselves to breaking down those barriers,” said Randall in the announcement. “At OVW, we are making that commitment by enhancing funding for organizations that are operated by and for communities of color and historically marginalized and underserved populations. In this year’s grant solicitations, we prioritized funding for culturally specific, community-based organizations, Tribal organizations, and population-specific organizations. This is critical, because advocates report that survivors are more likely to seek services from organizations they can trust are familiar with their culture, their language, and their background.”

OVW’s Culturally Specific Services Program funds the development of innovative culturally and linguistically specific approaches that offer survivors services they might not be able to find at mainstream organizations. The Disabilities Program funds education, training, services, and capacity building to ensure people with disabilities can safely and fully access resources in their communities for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Through training and services, the Abuse in Later Life Program addresses elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, against victims who are 50 years of age or older.

OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Click here to learn more.

HHS awards $79M in overdose prevention grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded $79.1 million in overdose prevention grants, as part of President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy, and the Biden-Harris Unity Agenda to address the opioid and overdose epidemic.

“Americans today are facing a mounting national crisis of mental health and substance use. We have been traveling across the country, as part of the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health, to listen and learn about how HHS can support local communities with these issues,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in the announcement. “To address overdose prevention, HHS is working to expand access across the full continuum–prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery supports–in an effort to help save lives.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that more than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, an increase of more than 15 percent from 2020.

The $79.1 million in grant funding comprises: