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Opportunity for USA Practitioners to Participate in a Planning Initiative to Address Substance Abuse in Rural Communities

Reaching Rural: Advancing Collaborative Solutions


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP)
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Conference Date: 11/14/23
Deadline: 12/15/23 5:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Opportunity for USA practitioners and teams of practitioners from rural regions to participate in a planning initiative to address substance abuse. Eligible applicants are associated with local or Tribal governmental agencies and work in a wide range of fields, including public health, behavioral health, public safety, and justice.

The one-year planning initiative is designed for rural justice and public safety practitioners; public health and behavioral health practitioners; city, county, and tribal leaders; and community groups. The planning initiative empowers rural practitioners to build deeper networks, particularly across sectors; adopt bold solutions to the persistent challenge of substance use and misuse in rural communities; and reimagine how diverse systems with different missions can engage with one another to more effectively serve justice-involved individuals with substance use or co-occurring disorders. For this solicitation, the term “sector” refers to different disciplines, such as judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, child welfare workers, tribal court officers, public health workers, behavioral health practitioners, etc.

Rural communities vary in their capacity to commit multiple staff members to a year-long planning initiative. The planning initiative provides two pathways for communities to apply to participate. Applicants may apply to participate in the planning phase as an individual practitioner or as a cross-sector team, as outlined below, from the same community or region.

The initial planning initiative is not a grant opportunity. Participants will be reimbursed for their travel expenses when attending sponsored activities, but no additional funding is provided due to being selected for the planning initiative. 

At the conclusion of the planning period (the end of calendar year 2024), Reaching Rural fellows will have the opportunity to apply for an implementation grant of up to $100,000 for up to 15 months to launch a project planned during the Reaching Rural fellowship. This funding will only be available to Reaching Rural fellows who have fully participated in the planning initiative. To be eligible to apply for the funding in the fall of 2024, all applicants will need to demonstrate that they have built a cross-sector partnership that, at a minimum, includes at least one justice or public safety practitioner, at least one public health representative, and at least one behavioral health practitioner that has been meeting since June 2024. Additional details about the funding opportunity will be distributed at the in-person kick-off.

For details about program benefits, see:


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicants may apply to participate in the planning phase as an individual practitioner or as a cross-sector team, as outlined below, from the same community or region.

All proposed activities supported under this solicitation are designed for rural communities. To determine if your community is defined as “rural,” use the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, a tool maintained by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) -

Individual Applicant Eligibility Requirements

This opportunity is designed for rural practitioners who work for:
- A local unit of government (city, town, county, parish).
- A federally recognized Indian tribal government (determined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior).
- A nonprofit agency that works with a local unit of government or federally recognized Indian tribal government to respond to substance use or misuse issues and/or individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Applicants who work for a for-profit company will be considered on a case-by-case basis but will need a letter of support from the local government or tribal entity they work closely within their current role.

Individuals must have the capacity to commit to the project for the year and have a working knowledge of how their agency and/or their current role interfaces with individuals with SUDs and the justice system. This opportunity will primarily benefit agency leaders and mid-level staff members. Individual applicants who are not agency leaders must include a letter of support from their agency director.

Cross-Sector Team Applicant Eligibility Requirements: The lead applicant agency may be a county, city, parish, town government, or tribal entity. Regional applications representing more than one jurisdiction are welcome, but one city, county, or tribe should be identified as the lead applicant.

Each planning team must, at a minimum, consist of four people from three different sectors: justice or public safety, public health, and behavioral health.

For additional details about cross-sector application requirements, see:

Pre-Proposal Conference
Applicant Webinar: November 14, 2023, at 1:00pm ET. Please register for the webinar at and submit questions in advance of the webinar to no later than November 13, 2023.

Pre-Application Information
All required application components must be submitted no later than 5:00pm ET on December 15, 2023.

Notification of selection: January 26, 2024

Estimated Size of Grant
Participation in the planning initiative includes:
- Travel and per diem reimbursement to participate in three in-person meetings: an orientation, a field visit to observe the implementation of evidenceinformed practices in a rural setting, and a closing session.
- Monthly mentorship and guidance aimed toward your local needs.
- Monthly assignments that help you apply core concepts to your local community or region.
- Access to a diverse network of peers, innovative rural communities (including the Rural Justice
Collaborative’s Innovation Sites), and technical assistance (TA) providers.
- Formal recognition for completing the planning initiative.

Reaching Rural fellows will have the opportunity to apply for an implementation grant of up to $100,000.

Term of Contract
Project kick-off: February 22, 2024

Contact Information
All application components must be submitted via online application:
- Cross-Sector Team application link here:
- Individual application link here:

Questions about your application? Please send an email to

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