Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund

A sign that reads "Clean Needles Save Lives"
Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund seeks to support organizations that are working on the frontlines of change to ensure that those who navigate the difficult road of substance abuse and addiction do so with reliable support that honors their agency and dignity.
The Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund will distribute $725,000 annually over three years via grantmaking to community organizations. The funds are derived from charitable assets that remained after the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) dissolved Canarsie A.W.A.R.E., Inc. for its participation in a scheme that exploited some of New York’s most vulnerable residents and defrauded Medicaid.
Brooklyn Community Foundation conducts grantmaking and provides other support using a racial justice lens. We prioritize support for Black-led and other people of color-led organizations on the frontlines of the fight for social change, knowing that those who are closest to the challenges faced by our communities are closest to the solutions for our communities. All strategic grantmaking is done in partnership with community advisors who join the Foundation in assessing and selecting prospective organizational partners, and informing programmatic strategy.
In November 2021, Brooklyn Community Foundation kicked off an Insights community engagement process with community partners to co-create a space for radical listening, acknowledging that people are the experts of their own experience and creating an environment of curiosity, openness, and empathy. This will enable us to learn from and partner with leaders and residents to identify and invest in community-led strategies to support people living with substance addiction in Brooklyn communities.

Substance Abuse-Harm Reduction Fund Advisory Council

The Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund Advisory Council is an opportunity for Brooklynites to make invaluable contributions to our grantmaking through their expertise and lived experience. A group of 10-15 advisors will work alongside the Brooklyn Community Foundation Programs Team in a participatory grantmaking process that will inform our strategy and giving over the course of the next year. Participation is expected through Winter 2022 for a commitment of up to 70 hours total. Advisors will be paid for their participation; applications are due on November 19th. Our goal is to recognize and tap into Brooklyn community leaders committed to strengthening their neighborhoods and the borough.

Apply at:

The Ideal Candidate for the Substance Abuse – Harm Reduction Fund Advisory Council:

  • Currently resides in Brooklyn or has strong ties to the borough
  • Is at least 16 years of age
  • Has personally experienced or comes from a household that has experienced substance addiction or abuse
  • Has at least intermediate knowledge of harm reduction approaches, drug policy issues, and/or drug treatment challenges
  • Can commit to remote meetings during standard business hours and/or Saturdays
  • Is passionate, self-motivated, and collaborative
  • Is committed to the idea that all people should be equally seen, heard, valued, and respected, regardless of race, class, gender, socio-economic and education status or sexual orientation. 
  • Has a developed analysis and understanding of anti-Black racism and systemic oppression
  • Is able to read and review grant applications written in English and participate alongside Programs staff in virtual site visits to organizations

Timeline and Estimated Commitment (up to 70 hours):

  • November 19: Applications Due
  • November 22 - November 24: Interviews
  • November 26: Notification of Advisory Council Decisions

Advisory Council Activities:

  • December 6, 10am-4pm: Onboarding and Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund virtual revisioning session
  • January 3 - January 7:  Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund Application Review 
  • January 10 - January 14:  Virtual Site Visits
  • Week of January 17: Substance Abuse - Harm Reduction Fund Virtual Decision-Making Convening
  • Fall 2022: Grant Monitoring, including support visits