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Commissioners accept $275,000 grant to create harm reduction services

The Stanly County Commissioners accepted the Community Linkages to Care grant of $275,000 over three years the health department recently received during its meeting Monday evening.

“This grant is designed to build out harm reduction services in the county,” Jennifer Layton, human services program specialist at the Stanly County Health Department, said. “We currently don’t have any harm reduction services in the county and we knew that it was … a major gap because for a comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid crisis we need prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery.”

The grant from the state, which will begin in December and run through August 2022, will allow the health department to partner with the faith-based, non-profit organization Grace Place in Albemarle to create a safe syringe program, where anyone in the county can drop off their used syringes while picking up new ones. Grace Place is at 132 Church St.

Layton said people, including diabetics, who reuse dull syringes can possibly damage their veins and do more harm than good.

The grant will also provide wound care and instructions on how to safely inject syringes without doing harm to veins as well as continuing to support Grace Place as it provides breakfast for those who need it.

The harm reduction services provided with the grant will help to prevent overdose deaths, the spread of STDs and HIV, Hepatitis C, Sepsis and Endocarditis, Layton said.

The commissioners also:

–Approved a resolution approving the transferal of the Marks and Snuggs historic houses to the Stanly County Historical Society.

–Appointed Shannon Maynard and Amanda Cody to replace Jerry Burleson and Vickie Long, whose terms expire at the end of December, on the Board of Equalization and Review. The board hears appeals for real and personal property from taxpayers where there are disagreements on value between the taxpayer and the Tax Administration department. The board also appointed Neil Senter as chairman.

–Proclaimed Dec. 2 to be “Thank You For Your Service Day,” in honor of the military veterans throughout the county.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 2.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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