Operation Our Town Awards Grants for Drug Abuse Prevention & Treatment

Operation Our Town has announced grant awards to 12 local drug prevention and treatment projects aimed at reducing illegal drug use and related crime in Blair County.  A total of $50,000 will be distributed to the recipients for the only grant cycle of 2013.

Operation Our Town awards grants each year to support proven prevention and treatment programs.  Grants are also awarded annually for targeted law enforcement and prosecution to fight illegal drugs and crime in Blair County.  In 2012, Operation Our Town awarded $231,500 in grants for law enforcement efforts and proven treatment and prevention programs.

Operation Our Town will begin accepting grant applications again in the spring of 2014.  A grant training will also be held before the next grant cycle.  You can check back for more information on the training and grant cycle dates at OperationOurTown.org.

The Operation Our Town Grant Committee includes five members: Donna Gority, Retired Blair County Commissioner; Judy Rosser, Executive Director of Blair Drug & Alcohol Partnerships; Jolene Kopriva, president judge, Blair County Court of Common Pleas; Michele Fiore, Mental Health Counselor; and Jim Kilmartin, Executive Director of Joshua House.

Each grant was judged objectively by specific criteria on a scoring process.


Altoona Area School District Foundation:  SOAR (Study, Overcome, Achieve, Reward)
1415 6th Avenue, Altoona  247-6334 or 942-2177
Pilot project in its 5th full year of operation, which identifies students who will receive financial assistance to pursue a post secondary education, given that they meet program guidelines and participate fully in the program.

Altoona Boxing Club:  Youth Boxing
1808 Union Avenue, Altoona (basement of UVA) 
Boxing club open to the public, for no charge, Monday through Thursday from 6:30-8:00pm to install discipline to both girls and boys, and to give the youth of Blair County a positive alternative to drugs and crime.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County:  Youth Mentoring
891 23rd Street, Altoona  944-6129
Evidence-based one-to-one youth mentoring program offered to children of Blair County between the ages of 6 and 18, who are paired with a trained adult mentor to do a variety of activities, to confide in as a friend, and to serve as a role model.

Blair Co. Adult Parole & Probation Office:  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Job Fair
423 Allegheny Street, Suite 330, Hollidaysburg  693-3190
Funding to help rehabilitate offenders by holding a job fair that would allow offenders an opportunity to be connected to many employers who are willing to hire them, which helps keep them from relapsing and allows them to become positive members of society.

Blair Co. Juvenile Probation:  Blair Co. Juvenile Drug Court
423 Allegheny Street, Suite 424, Hollidaysburg  693-3230
Evidence-based program, in which the Juvenile Drug Court Judge and a team comprised of representatives from treatment, juvenile justice, social services, schools, probation, counseling agencies, the prosecution, and the defense determine how best to address the substance abuse and related problems of the juvenile offender and his/her family.

Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation:  After School Program
PO Box 89, Altoona  949-8838
After-school and summer programs provided for children ages 5 through 12 in a daily structured setting held within the housing developments of Evergreen Manors, Fairview Hills, Logan Hills, and the 2nd Avenue United Methodist Church.

Home Nursing Agency Community Services:  Nurse-Family Partnership
PO Box 352, Altoona  946-5411
Evidence-based community health program that pairs vulnerable first-time mothers with a registered nurse home visitor to receive ongoing support and guidance throughout their pregnancy until the child reaches age two.

IDA Community Development Corporation:  Social & Supportive Services Office/Program
5928-A Evergreen Court, Altoona  283-8800
Funding to help connect Evergreen Manors residents with community resources and on-site programs, which will lead to self-sufficiency and empowerment with an anticipated outcome of an overall reduction in substance use and crime.

Joshua House:  Joshua House Programs
123 W. 10th Street, Tyrone  684-2032
A faith-based nonprofit organization with a mission to build community in kids, teens, and young adults through athletics, education, and faith and provides after-school activities and mentoring opportunities for youth in Northern Blair County, specifically Tyrone.

Ski Gap Community Action Council:  Playground Project - Phase 1
1149 Hillsboro Lane, Claysburg  239-0598
Funding to be used towards Phase 1 of the Playground Project that will be constructed at the Ski Gap Community Center.

Stepping Stones for Life:  Equine Assisted Learning Life Skills Program for At-risk Youth
341 Blacksnake Road, Dysart  943-8466
Provides a therapeutic farm environment where at-risk youth engage in life skills learning through adult/older youth mentors and horses and by participating in activities that provide them with order, purpose, and opportunity.

The ROCK:  After School Program
130 2nd Avenue, Altoona  943-2072
After-school program for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade held at the 2nd Avenue United Methodist Church, which includes a recreational period, classroom lesson time, creative development period, and a hot, nutritious home-cooked meal.