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Catholic Charities Partners with State Agencies to Address Substance Use Disorder Crisis

For those recovering from substance use disorder, finding meaningful employment can be challenging.

Through a grant from the Department of Education Jobs & Hope West Virginia, Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) is helping to remove barriers to employment and provide support to those in recovery.

“We know one of the greatest gifts a person can have is a good job. A good job provides stability and hope for the future,” said Beth Zarate, CCWVa chief executive officer. “Employment is critically important to our brothers and sisters in recovery.”

CCWVa has received a $300,000 grant through Jobs & Hope West Virginia, a new program established by Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature. Jobs & Hope West Virginia is a beginning-to-end program that allows an individual to receive free addiction treatment while at the same time receiving free career technical education.

“The problem strikes at the health of not only the individual drug users, but at the safety of our communities, the quality of our workforce and the bonds of family,” said Jim Justice, governor of West Virginia. “[This is] one program to lift our most vulnerable West Virginians from the depths of addiction to treatment, education, forgiveness and a job.”

Jobs & Hope West Virginia is the state’s comprehensive response to the substance use disorder crisis, offering support through a statewide collaboration of agencies that provide opportunities for participants to obtain career training and ultimately secure meaningful employment.

CCWVa will administer funds to provide assistance to Jobs & Hope West Virginia participants for birth certificates, social security cards, state IDs or driver’s licenses, bus passes, utility shut-offs, transcripts and other barriers to employment.

“We are honored to work alongside state agencies and other organizations to provide comprehensive services to those in recovery,” said Sara Lindsay, CCWVa chief program officer. “We support people in meeting career-related goals from a standpoint of dignity, through individually-tailored services.”

CCWVa will work with Jobs & Hope participants throughout the state. CCWVa serves all West Virginia counties, providing programs and services through more than 19 offices. The agency serves all people regardless of faith, family or background.

A person’s history doesn’t define their potential. – Sara Lindsay, CCWVa Chief Program Officer

Assistance through the Jobs & Hope program is not limited to those battling addiction. Any person seeking a pathway to more meaningful employment through job training, obtaining certifications, or other types of education may be eligible.

“A person’s history doesn’t define their potential,” said Lindsay. “Recognizing the resiliency of people in recovery, and the strong skills they gain while working toward sobriety is a solid starting point for career development.”

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