The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners will gather Thursday for its first agenda session of the month, with discussions slated to include a possible opioid use recovery center off Raeford Road.
During the 1 p.m. meeting at the Cumberland County courthouse, Health Director Dr. Jennifer Green is set to request $650,000 in funding over three years for a “Recovery Community Center,” according to a memorandum from Green.
“The funding will support a three-year pilot program to establish a C-FORT Recovery Center in an existing county building (707 Executive Place),” Green wrote.
C-FORT is the Cumberland-Fayetteville Opioid Response Team, a subcommittee created to develop a proposal for the center after commissioners recommended exploring options for one in August 2022, according to a presentation submitted by Green.
The money stems from $56 billion in national settlements with opioid companies that North Carolina has received since 2021, with Cumberland County on schedule to receive $30 million over 18 years, according to Green. County commissioners decided in 2022 to fund longer-term strategies for tackling opioid use, Green said.
Green wrote that the center would offer the following services:
The center would look to partner with Alliance Health, the Cape Fear Valley Health system, the county’s Department of Social Services, Methodist University and several other organizations and programs, according to Green’s presentation.
The health department plans to gauge the center’s effectiveness through a number of metrics, including the number of participants who stayed in treatment, the number of naloxone kits distributed and the number of participants served who use opioids or have opioid use disorder, Green wrote.
The $650,000 would be staggered over three years, with $250,000 to be used in the center’s first year of life to do repairs and renovations at the building and to purchase needed supplies, equipment and furniture, Green said. In its second and third years, the center will have $200,000 of funding each year.
The center would be open Monday-Friday, with at least two days offering evening hours, and would operate out of the county’s current Community Development building, Green said.
Green is requesting the board place the item on the consent agenda for its Feb. 19 regular meeting. If the board approves her request, it would authorize spending for the center beginning Feb. 20 and ending on June 30, 2027, according to Green’s presentation.
The center would need three full-time employees — a manager for the recovery center, a peer support specialist and an office assistant, Green said.
In other business:
Reporter Lexi Solomon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-423-6500.
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