Shineman Supports Critical Community Need - A True Catalyst for Change
Awarded a grant to enable the organization to take over the Harbor Lights facility in northern Oswego County.
Stan and Ann Long served the Oswego County community for decades as the owners of Harbor Lights Chemical Dependency Services located in Mexico NY. Harbor Lights engaged people from the most rural portions of northeastern Oswego County, meeting a critical geographic need and providing outpatient treatment services for substance use disorder. As Stan and Ann approached a well-deserved retirement, they wanted to ensure that the community would continue to be served and their employees would have the option to continue their careers. They reached out to Farnham Family Services to ask if Farnham could take over operations. Farnham had several factors to consider in making the decision. The first was an assessment of community need, the second was financial viability.
As we emerged from the first year of the COVID 19 pandemic in 2021 there was no shortage of need related to substance use disorder in Oswego County. Overdose rates were on the rise, people were seeking help for alcohol use disorder at levels not seen in years, synthetic stimulant use was prevalent and leading to severe cases of psychosis and the legalization of adult use marijuana was shifting attitudes and community norms, driving towards a climate that could lead to more problematic use. This need was underlined by a degree of pandemic related isolation and despair that pushed depression, anxiety, family dysfunction and suicide rates to concerning levels in our community. This was not good timing for a reduction in available services. The timing of financial support was also questionable, there were some state and federal funding opportunities that could support Farnham in expanding services to Mexico but the amounts of funds available and the timing created gaps. Recognizing this, the project partners turned to the Shineman Foundation for support.
The Shineman Foundation awarded Farnham a $130,000 grant in the spring of 2021 to support the preservation and expansion of services in Mexico NY. As a result, the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) operating license and clinical treatment services were transferred in July 2021. All existing Harbor Lights clients were offered the opportunity to continue services and all employees were offered positions. Satellite clinical services in Pulaski were reignited, comprehensive peer support services are now being offered and access to medication has been expanded. As of October 2021, over 70 individuals were receiving services. In addition, Farnham was able to leverage the support from the Shineman Foundation to secure a grant from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in the amount of $525,000 annually, to expand services at the Mexico location to include a fully integrated Opioid Treatment Program.
Thanks to the support from the Shineman Foundation essential services were preserved in an underserved part of our community at a critical time, the groundwork has been laid for enhancements to better meet the needs of individuals and families and the Longs are enjoying a well-deserved retirement. This investment will pay dividends for years to come.