A group of teenagers sitting in chairs in a circle discussing with one another.
Photo credit: SolStock.

Gaudenzia receives $200,000 to fight youth substance abuse


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On August 2, Gaudenzia Inc., the largest nonprofit substance use disorder treatment provider in Northeast Philadelphia, was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. 

This grant will be directed towards expanding Gaudenzia's prevention and early intervention services provided by its Centro Primavera program in Philadelphia.

This Centro Primavera program focuses on Philadelphia communities facing high rates of poverty and unemployment, open-air drug use, and escalating gun violence, and is located in the Fairhill neighborhood, aiding a predominantly Hispanic community.

Within this community, 42.6% of households live below the poverty level; three times higher than Pennsylvania's average.

“An adult’s substance use can have a crippling second-hand effect on children—both in the immediate household as well as in the community,” said Dr. Dale Klatzker, Gaudenzia President and CEO, in a press release.

Within this poverty rate lies 45% of the community's children, facing increased chances of experiencing parental incarceration, racial or economic discrimination, housing instability, or household substance use.

With the grant from the Commission, Gaudenzia will seek to expand and improve upon existing school-based services to help protect youths from exposure to the aforementioned issues.

Additionally, they are seeking to provide both group and individual prevention and early intervention services through Centro Primavera's after-school and summer programs, provided freely towards children and adolescents.

Through these programs and efforts, Gaudenzia's goal is to educate youth on substance use, prevent usage, strengthen their resilience, and promote personal development.

“Children absorb what they see and experience and that’s why we are grateful for this award from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency,” Klatzker continued. 

“This will enable us to reach more children with education, strategies and additional resources that will deter substance use. Together, we will empower youth to make healthy decisions and understand that their future is bright,” he concluded.

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