Five-year grant to focus on community well-being, youth programs, and trauma-informed behavioral health.
The Lawrenceville City Council unanimously approved the acceptance of a five-year, $5-million federal grant from the Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) program administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA). Lawrenceville ReCAST, led by the City of Lawrenceville, will assist high risk youth and families, promote well-being and resilience in communities, and promote linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health. The grant will take effect October 1, 2021.
“The City of Lawrenceville is extremely honored to be named a 2021 ReCAST grant recipient,” said Mayor David Still. “A team of talented community partners came together to create an impressive proposal and will now work collaboratively toward the betterment of our community using a multimodal approach.”
A coalition of community partners, including Impact46, Georgia Center for Opportunity, and Families First will work together to increase access to mental health services and reduce trauma among high-risk youth and their families; increase access to social services; strengthen community relations; and increase diverse voices in city government.
Through the ReCAST grant, the City of Lawrenceville plans to:
- Expand the Summer of Impact Youth Internship Program through the addition of intern positions and participating schools;
- Expand the Project F.I.R.S.T. Co-Responder program of the Lawrenceville Police Department and Viewpoint Health;
- Form an internal diversity committee to increase community engagement of city employees;
- Launch a City Youth Council in Lawrenceville area public high schools, including Central Gwinnett and Discovery High Schools, with an emphasis on inclusion of high-risk youth and civic engagement;
- Reach an expanding number of youth annually, eventually serving a goal of 1,700 high-risk youth in Lawrenceville by year five;
- Create a referral process to community partners for direct assistance to 400 families, working toward a goal of providing direct support to 1500 residents by year five.
“The ReCAST grant can be transformational for our community,” said Chuck Warbington, City Manager. “Much of the grant’s included programming was already taking place or in the planning stages by community partners and the City of Lawrenceville. The five-million in federal funding and the potential for a renewal in the sixth year can have exponential impact and improve the quality of life for nearly all of Lawrenceville’s more than 30,000 residents.”
The City of Lawrenceville is one of nine cities included in the 2021 ReCAST grant, and the smallest. The other cities are: Philadelphia, PA; Denver, CO; Jacksonville, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Milwaukee, WI; San Antonio, TX; Oakland, CA; and Flint, MI.
SAMSHA was established in 1992 by the U.S. Congress to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. The ReCAST federal grant program assists high-risk youth and families, promotes community youth engagement programs, and provides trauma-informed behavioral health services. The ReCAST program’s overall goal is for local community entities to work together in ways leading to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.
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