Funding to Improve Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder for Homeless and At-Risk Populations During and After COVID-19

Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) and The New York Community Trust Provide $750,000 in Funding for Housing Works Opioid Treatment Initiative

NEW YORK (June 23, 2020) - The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) and The New York Community Trust are providing a total of $750,000 in funding to Housing Works for a program that aims to improve retention and adherence to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for people at risk for overdose.  


The New York Community Trust’s addition of $150,000 to an initial $600,000 in funding provided by FORE will allow Housing Works to conduct additional analyses important to sustaining their program long term. The combined funds also support efforts to maintain access to medications for opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic and to learn from recent changes in care, such as the transition to telehealth.  

“Now more than ever it is important to ensure access to care for the most vulnerable populations,” said Karen Scott, M.D., M.P.H., President of FORE. “Research has shown that medications for opioid use disorder save lives. Partnering with the New York Community Trust to fund this Housing Works initiative enables resources to fight the opioid crisis to go further and will have a direct impact on people and communities in New York City.” 

Working with Homeless and At-Risk Populations
Housing Works is helping to remove barriers to medications for opioid use disorder and improve retention rates for patients living at or beneath the poverty line in New York City, including a large number of its clients who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. The funding from FORE and The New York Community Trust will enable Housing Works to expand a tool kit of evidence-based behavioral health interventions and social supports to those communities most impacted by the opioid crisis. It will also allow them to track, evaluate and communicate about their efforts to maintain access to treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are proud to support Housing Works, in partnership with FORE, to be able to help bring these life-saving services to New Yorkers who urgently need them,” said Irfan Hasan of The New York Community Trust. “We hope this approach by Housing Works will be a model for payors as well as providers of services to help individuals and communities struggling to stem opioid use.”
“We are thrilled to have the support of FORE and The New York Community Trust,” said Matthew Bernardo, President of Housing Works. “Decades of research show overwhelming evidence that medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), when provided promptly, can save lives and reduce overall health care spending. New York did the right thing by easing restrictions around MOUD in response to the COVID pandemic. These policies impact low-income people, communities of color, and others who have suffered most from the opioid crisis. Housing Works will leverage funding from FORE and The New York Community Trust to continue providing lifesaving care and deepen the evidence base for these crucial harm reduction policies.”


About FORE
The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) was founded in 2018 as a private 501(c)(3) national, grant-making foundation focused on addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. FORE is committed to funding a diversity of projects contributing solutions to the crisis at national, state, and community levels. FORE’s mission is to convene and support partners advancing patient-centered, innovative, evidence-based solutions impacting people experiencing opioid use disorder, their families, and their communities.  


About The New York Community Trust
The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. The Trust is a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. 


About Housing Works
Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Its mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts. Founded in 1990, Housing Works is among the nation’s largest community-based AIDS service organizations. It serves over 12,000 New Yorkers annually through a constellation of primary and mental health care, housing, case management, outreach, legal, vocational, behavioral health, and harm reduction services. It is nationally recognized for its fierce advocacy on behalf of its member communities through path-breaking organizing, policy, research, and litigation efforts.