Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $567,627)
Road Recovery (RR), established in New York City in 1998, is an entertainment industry-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth battle substance misuse and other adversities. Mentored by entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar life struggles, and with support from the mental health field, RR’s action-driven programs offer opportunities for youth to engage in the process of creating, planning, and presenting their own live performance events and recording projects that empower youth to identify, express, and amplify their voices in hopes of affecting positive change in themselves and their community.
RR works directly with opportunity youth (ages 10–17) who have misused opioids or other substances in the past or are at high risk for future misuse. RR’s Trax Programs after school offer skill building, recreation, education, wellness, evidence-based prevention, and the opportunity to build healthy networks to avoid self-destructive and risky behavior. Since 2017, RR has worked in program partnership with New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and nine statewide agencies to pursue a team approach to support youth in recovery.
RR seeks to continue Trax Programs for 13 Youth Clubhouses (YCs) and affiliates to advance the strategic partnership with OASAS through renewals of 3-year OJJDP grants. RR consistently offers free programming in areas of the most ethnically diverse and vulnerable populations, including Native American Indians (Shinnecock Nation), economically disadvantaged African American and Hispanic urban dwellers (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Buffalo), and LGBTQ youth (Manhattan, Brooklyn). The OASAS program partnership also supports Trax Programs at YCs in rural areas (Massena, Elmira, Oswego), High Poverty Areas (Queens, Amsterdam, Oneonta), and Qualified Opportunity Zones.
RR engages youth in Trax Programs through an integrated group mentoring model of peer support and creative workshops under the guidance of Creative Staff Mentors who encourage youth to freely express themselves and their message to help them turn their ideas into creative content presented at social media and live community events. Through this collaborative process, youth develop healthy coping, communication, and life skills.