New Jersey mentoring program awarded $600,000

New Jersey mentoring program awarded $600,000

The U.S. Department of Justice recently awarded Prevention is Key (PIK), a New Jersey nonprofit organization, a $600,000 grant through the Mentoring Opportunities Youth Initiative.

Funding will create a mentoring program for children in Morris and Passaic counties who have been exposed to opioid misuse.

Founded in 1989, PIK provides evidence-based prevention services. Its mentoring program will provide 100 children between the ages of 11 and 17 with positive mentoring to supplement treatment programs. Participants will develop skills to build their own informal support systems and will receive social and emotional support.

The program will run for three years. To be accepted into the program, children must have family members who use or have misused opioids or have been using or misusing opioids themselves.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the OJJDP grant to provide Mentoring to Youth Impacted by Opioids and Drug Addiction in Morris and Passaic Counties,” Chris Goeke, PIK executive director, said. “The demand for youth mentoring among this underserved population has never been greater than it is today. The social isolation created by the pandemic has made the need even more critical. Prevention Is Key remains fully engaged in supporting our communities as they strive to live healthier lives throughout our great state.”