Henrico Citizen: U.S. House appropriations package includes $2.5M for two Henrico projects

HENRICO CITIZEN

The Achievable Dream Academy program at Highland Springs Elementary School ($1.5 million) and the county’s planned detox and recovery center ($1 million) would receive funding if the U.S. Senate and President Joe Biden ultimately endorse the appropriations package passed Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The proposed funding allocations were submitted by Henrico representatives Donald McEachin (VA-4th District) and Abigail Spanberger (VA-7th District), respectively. As part of a new effort this year, the House allowed each congressional office to make as many as 10 specific Community Project Funding requests for projects sponsored by local or state governments, or nonprofits, that met the qualifications for federal grant funding. There was no guarantee that any of the projects would be selected, however.
 
McEachin proposed the funding for the Achievable Dream Academy in his district to assist as the program expands to the middle school level for sixth-graders in the coming school year and to provide wrap-around and other supportive services to the program’s students and their families.

Spanberger proposed the funding for the $14-million detox and recovery center, which Henrico officials last year announced would be built along Nine Mile Road in Eastern Henrico. The facility will be designed as a 24-hour, in-patient, medically supervised detoxification and recovery center with an initial capacity of 12 to 16 beds and will be licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

The appropriations package still must pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

All 10 of McEachin’s requests – totaling more than $19 million – and all 10 of Spanberger’s – totaling more than $6 million – were included in the package.

“There was no guarantee that all of the requests for Virginia’s Fourth would be chosen, but thanks to the hard work of our local leaders, we were able to secure much-needed funding for all 10 projects,” McEachin said in a statement.

Spanberger said the inclusion of funding for the Henrico project would provide a key service to those in the community.

“To support members of our communities who are struggling with addiction, we must make recovery services more accessible. This project would work to fill a problematic gap that exists in the substance abuse treatment resources available to our neighbors who are fighting to escape the firm grasp of addiction,” said Spanberger. “I am proud to have worked directly with community leaders in Henrico County to secure this funding, and I thank each of them for their compassionate support for those who are struggling with addiction and their commitment to opening avenues to long-term recovery.

In a statement, Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Schmitt (Brookland District) thanked Spanberger for her efforts.

“Henrico County is grateful to Rep. Spanberger for her efforts to secure this additional funding for the Henrico Detox and Recovery Center,” Schmitt said. “The targeted federal funds will be used as part of county efforts to help create a safe space for Henrico residents suffering from the disease of addiction and to help them overcome dependence and begin the process of healing.

“It is our sincere hope that this center will serve as a model for treating addiction not only throughout our region but across the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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