CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J.—Mercer County will distribute $1.6 million in grant funding to fight drug and alcohol abuse among at risk youth in Mercer County, announced County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

The substantial grant amount will allow the County to continue to provide substance abuse treatment, prevention campaigns, after school programs, and other measures to help kids stay away from drugs and alcohol. The funding is contingent upon approval by the freeholder board.

“Across Mercer County, we strive to protect our children from the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and we are pleased that this grant funding will allow our partners in the community to accomplish that mission,” said Hughes.

Hughes announced the grant funding during “Red Ribbon Week”, which runs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 25 this year. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country and serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the hopes and dreams of our children through a commitment to drug prevention and education and a personal commitment to live drug-free lives with the ultimate goal being the creation of a drug-free America.

These County-administered grants will be awarded to community drug treatment and prevention organizations throughout the County across three categories: Primary Prevention, Secondary Prevention and Treatment.

In the Primary Prevention Category for children aged six to 11, the County will fund approximately $265,000 in services in the areas of educational information and awareness, violence prevention, mentoring, and non-school hours recreational support such as after school programming, tutoring and summer camp.

In Secondary Prevention for youth aged 12 to 18 years old, the County will fund approximately $335,000 in services in areas such as violence prevention, mentoring, educational support and intervention, non-school hours recreational support, and career and vocational initiatives.

In Treatment, Mercer County will fund approximately $985,000 in services.  The bulk of this allocation will be utilized by the County’s mandated shelter services at Mercer House and the remainder will go toward victim support services for victims of abuse or violence.