Roadback gets federal grant - with a catch

Lawton_Lawton's not-for-profit rehabilitation center, Roadback, Inc., is an organization dedicated to helping alcoholics and drug addicts, but its director says the economic crisis is making it much harder for it to help its patients.  Roadback is partially funded through the State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and once received money from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).

Roadback will no longer receive money from the DOC because it has run out of money, but there is an alternative for funding - the federal government.  It won't provide an easy fix, though.  Roadback's Executive Director Christie Taylor says that in order to get funding from the federal government it must partner with faith-based organizations.

Taylor says she's searching for ways to supplement what Roadback is lacking after getting the unpleasant call from the Oklahoma DOC last week.  It was their primary source of funding.  With this particular grant from the federal government, she says faith-based partners must be involved.  "We have to have faith-based partner community service agencies - this part-grant also provides emergency, food shelter, and child care," she said.

Taylor says she wants to get the word out that Roadback needs funding assistance.  "I need some churches, or synagogues, or temples to contact the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and investigate whether they could become a provider of those services," she said.

She says she believes faith-based organizations should be involved whether it's required or not.  "Research shows us that if a person is involved in faith-based counseling, and they have a substance abuse problem, they have better outcomes," she said.

Shortly before this story was to air, Zoe Christian Center and Central Baptist Church of Lawton both agreed to partner with the organization, and another church began its application process.  The State of Oklahoma got the $11.7 million grant from the Federal Government, and Roadback creates a voucher which the faith-based organization bills to the state.