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Funds from American Rescue Plan aid Penobscot County organizations fighting substance use disorder

The funds come from the more than $29 million the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress last year.

BANGOR, Maine — Since receiving more than $29 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress last year, Penobscot County commissioners have been trying to decide how to spend it. 

Recently, commissioners announced nine organizations will get about $200,000 from the ARPA. It's the first round of grants being paid for with the federal COVID funding the county has announced.

The organizations awarded the grants, which are each $25,000 or less, are dedicated to helping Mainers fight mental illness and substance use disorder.

"This is going to be a huge benefit," Heidi Wheaton said about the grant her organization received. She's the executive director of Breaking the Cycle in Millinocket.

Breaking the Cycle provides a safe and supportive environment where women can transition away from addiction. It was awarded $25,000. 

“It's going to help with the transportation to get these girls to court hearings, to get these girls to be able to meet with their families, to be able to bring the children at the house," Wheaton added. 

Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center in Bangor was another organization awarded a grant. It received $24,250.

“We host a huge number of recovery groups for both mental health and substance use five days a week," said Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center Executive Director Sean Faircloth. "We want to have more space to do that in, and so, we’re renovating our basement and also providing some positive activities there.”

Other organizations awarded grants:

Penobscot County commissioners are expected to award another round of grants in the coming weeks.  

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