Bronx Community Hit by Opioid Crisis

In 2016, more Bronx residents died of drug overdoses than in any other New York City borough, with fatal overdoses being at their highest since at least 2000 when official data was made available.

VIP Community Services (VIP) http://vipservices.org and their nonprofit lenders, Vital Healthcare Capital (V-Cap) http://vitalcap.org, and the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) http://nff.org have invested $2 million to expand health and social services to support a community hard hit by the opioid crisis.

Located in the Bronx, VIP is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) www.fqhc.org and the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) www.thenationalcouncil.org are able to provide comprehensive mental health, substance use, primary care, and supportive housing services to people experiencing addiction, mental health disorders, homelessness, and other health and social issues.

VIP was designated a CCBHC under a two year pilot program sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) www.samhsa.gov, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services https://oasas.ny.gov, and the New York State Office of Mental Health https://www.omh.ny.gov. Seven other states are also piloting the CCBHC model.

VIP serves 25,000 patients annually, 92 percent live in poverty and more than one in five are homeless. Also, greater than 60 percent are experiencing severe psychological distress and depression, along with drug and alcohol addiction. Over the last 24 months, VIP’s opioid treatment program has grown in capacity to serve up to 1,500 patients and is expected to continue to expand.

The funds led by V-Cap with a $1 million participation by NFF, will position VIP to expand and better integrate its mental health and substance use services to respond to the rise in opioid use and overdoses in the Bronx.

With the funds available from the loans, VIP will recruit additional staff, including alcohol and substance use counselors, expand the space needed to provide patient care, and also implement new programs.

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