The Institute for Innovation & Implementation (The Institute) at the University of Maryland School of Social Work is the recipient of a new, 5-year, $2.7 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Known as B’More SUCCEEDS (SUccess through Community-based Coordination, Empowerment, Evidence-based interventions, and Direct Supports), this initiative will provide coordinated, comprehensive treatment and recovery support services for youth and young adults using substances and experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Baltimore City, with a particular focus on those who may be pregnant or parenting.
B’More SUCCEEDS is led by The Institute in partnership with Youth Empowered Society (YES) Youth Drop-In Center, HARBEL Prevention and Recovery Center, Treatment Resources for Youth (TRY), Baltimore City Health Department, B’More for Healthy Babies, and the PACT’s Therapeutic Nursery at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, along with Behavioral Health System Baltimore, HealthCare Access Maryland, and the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition.
“This grant will enable us to enhance and expand youth-driven, trauma-responsive treatment and support for youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, are pregnant or parenting, and are using substances in Baltimore City, while strengthening existing partnerships among organizations,” said Amanda Miller, MSW, B’More SUCCEEDS project director at The Institute.
Providers will receive trainings to expand their knowledge, skills, and capacity to work with youth and make services more youth-focused. Blair Franklin, executive director of Youth Empowered Society Drop-In Center, explained: “We’re using a strategy that incorporates youth input in the design of what the services look like, in the evaluation of how well we’re doing as providers, and making sure youth voice is centered throughout the process.”
According to the latest data from Youth REACH MD, over 1,690 youth are experiencing homelessness in Baltimore City, with over a quarter reporting having children of their own and over half reporting not receiving the help they need (www.youthreachmd.com). Youth experiencing homelessness are at increased risk for victimization, poor mental and physical health, and dropping out of school; for youth who are pregnant or parenting, these risks can also extend to their children.
“Our goal is for B’More SUCCEEDS to support youth and young adults so that they and their families are safe, healthy, and housed,” added Deborah Harburger, principal investigator for B’More SUCCEEDS.