For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2007

Local Coalition Receives National Grant of $2.5 Million

DAYTON, OHIO--Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Dayton's Edgemont Community will hold a press conference and grand opening for its expanded One-Stop Center on November 1 at 10:00 a.m. The group and university and local governmental officials will announce a five-year, $2.5 million dollar grant from the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment for a critically needed project aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the community.

"Our method to fulfill the objectives of this grant is service," explains Rev. Carlton Williams, pastor at Mt Olive. Our prescription is love. Love is such a little word, but caring people make it bigger. We have caring people."

Mt. Olive's One-Stop Center targets African American men and women released from prison or jail within the past two years. It aims to enhance substance abuse treatment and HIV-related services for this at risk population as well as facilitate their re-entry into the community. The combination of HIV and substance abuse continue to adversely impact African Americans, who constitute 49% of Montgomery Country's HIV/AIDS cases. African America women represent the county's fastest growing HIV infection rate.

The prison environment is a high-risk setting for the transmission of HIV/AIDS due to both the prevalence of HIV among inmate populations and the high-risk activities that occur inside prison walls. Nine out of every 1,000 male inmates in Ohio are known to be HIV positive, compared to two out of every 1,000 Ohio men overall.

Approximately 56% of the 9,043 parolees or probationers released from the prison system to Montgomery County in 2004 were classified as primarily drug-related. Studies indicate that offenders who return to their neighborhoods after incarceration face many obstacles for successful re-entry: ease in acquiring illicit drugs, lack of employment opportunities and adequate housing, and few culturally competent services.

During the past year, Mount Olive has swung open its doors to more than 900 individuals on Dayton's West Side. The church facility opened during designated hours to provide health testing (including HIV), confidential interviews, case management assistance, and educational sessions. The One-Stop Center will expand these services, as well as serve meals from the church kitchen, provide Internet access for training and GED, provide employment assistance, and operate a food and clothing pantry.

A community advisory board will guide the Mt. Olive One-Stop Center and the project will identify street outreach workers to help case managers with program and enrollment activities. The neighborhood-based Mt. Olive One-Stop Center will deliver seamless services that are both accessible and culturally competent.

The grassroots coalition also includes organizations, including the church, the Consumer Advocacy Model (an outpatient substance abuse treatment program run by Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine), the Dayton Urban League, the Dr. Charles R. Drew Health Center, the Center for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (CADAS), and the Adult Probation/Parole of Montgomery County.

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