Two Annapolis agencies will receive more than $500,000 in federal grant money this year to fight drugs.
The Alliance for a Drug-Free Annapolis, a 2-year-old coalition of volunteers from businesses and social service groups, will receive $272,000 this year and a total of $1 million over five years, said city Drug Policy Coordinator Eric Avery, who helped form the alliance. "Boy, am I happy," Avery said. "I'm thrilled."
The Annapolis Housing Authority will get $250,000 to fight drugs in public housing, said Executive Director Harold Greene. The agency was among the finalists for a similar grant last year. "We hit pay dirt," Greene said of this year's proposal.
The alliance will use its money to develop a mobile education and prevention unit, make treatment centers more accessible and expand programs for teen-agers, among other projects, Avery said.
Greene said the housing authority will use its money for tenant patrols, security improvements, a counseling center, career training, and recreation and academic programs. He said the authority will work with the alliance, as well as the anti-drug planning action committees.
But with the cost of a full-time undercover surveillance at $80,000 a year and full-time counselors at about $25,000 a year, "$250,000 doesn't go very far," Greene said. "We're going to have to be really careful and make sure we combine programs and resources to get the most for the money."
Greene said that with the help of city police, the drug problem in public housing has been reduced.