Mendota gets $1.875 million grant to reduce youth substance use, promote wellness

City will receive $375,000 for 5 years

Mendota has been awarded a Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Partnership for Success grant.

The city will receive $375,000 each year for five years to fund schools, organizations and staff to implement substance use prevention programming and create more positive youth activities.

Mendota is one of 44 communities from the United States awarded the PFS grant in an effort to reduce the onset and progression of substance misuse and its related problems by supporting the development and delivery of community-based substance misuse prevention and mental health promotion services.

“This is an exciting time for the city of Mendota,” said Emily McConville, Mendota economic development director. “Our schools, library and other non-profit organizations continue to provide great programs and support for our youth to have positive learning and activities. This funding will support and enhance these efforts, which will ultimately benefit our youth, families, and community.”

The $1.875 million will be invested over the next five years with the goal of creating healthier youth and communities.

“During the Reimagine Mendota Community Heart and Soul Community Chats, many people share that the city needs to have more positive things for youth to do,” said Annie Short, Reimagine Mendota volunteer. “This grant will help with that request by supporting our organizations already doing the great work and allow the city to create even more opportunities for our youth.”

The grant begins Oct. 1. Staff will be hired to oversee the grant and the community planning sessions that will be conducted over the next year to determine needs, gaps and work plans.

“It took about a month to put this all together,” Short said, “and we coordinated with some outside resources to get the application made.”

Creating more positive activities for youth was one of the driving forces for the grant.

“Over the last five years our most devastating crisis has been with fentanyl, but we are seeing an increase of meth abuse in the area,” said Mendota Police Chief Gregory Kellen.

Kellen noted education and awareness are steps to preventing deaths and overdose and anything that can be done to put out the word to the community by providing other options for youth will benefit the community.

The grant will end in five years, but Short is hopeful Reimagine Mendota will be able to sustain many of the programs beyond the sunset of the original grant, including applying for additional funds.

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