PHILADELPHIA, PA, November 30 – This morning at The Bridge Way School in the Holmesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia, Governor Tom Wolf and Michael Bloomberg announced that, of the $50 million Bloomberg Philanthropies is contributing to fight the opioid epidemic in the United States, Pennsylvania will be the first state to get funding and will receive at least $10 million. Pennsylvania had the highest number of drug overdose deaths in 2017 among all states and twice as many as in 2014. Nearly 5,400 Pennsylvania residents died of drug overdoses in 2017. Pennsylvania’s rate of 44.3 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents is more than double the national average.
The Bridge Way School was the site for the announcement because Bridge Way is PA’s first, and for now, the only Recovery High School in the state. Over the past two years, CORA has financially and programmatically supported The Bridge Way School. CORA Services’ Board recently approved a second, year-long managerial contract that will enable CORA to oversee operations for Bridge Way and provide efficient access to services with synergy between the two programs. Previously located in Roxborough, Bridge Way found a temporary home in August 2017 in CORA’s Administration Building at 8540 Verree Road. In March of 2018, with the help of CORA Services, Rebecca Bonner, Bridge Way’s Head of School, and her team relocated to 7360 Jackson Street – the former site of St. Bernard’s Catholic Grade School.
The governor and Bloomberg toured the recovery high school and talked with students, staff, and alumni about the success of the program. “Bridge Way gave me a future,” said one recent graduate of the school. Bridge Way and CORA’s leadership discussed the need for funds for the program as well as the increased need for prevention and intervention services across the city of Philadelphia.
In the coming months, CORA and Bridge Way will also be also partnering on starting an APG (Alternative Peer Group), which will be funded in part by a STOP (Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention) Grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and the Windmill Foundation.
Bridge Way is an invaluable resource to individuals and families consumed by substance use and co-occurring disorders. To learn more about Bridge Way, call 267.437.2194.
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