The opioid epidemic affects people across the United States. It stands to reason that those hardest hit by the epidemic are those who are addicted to opioids and are living in poverty.

National opioid settlements with pharmacy chains and drug manufacturers are meant to compensate victims monetarily. For state participation status, click here.

In Ohio, $58 million is going to people in 19 different regions. Bridges sites that offer Getting Ahead and Getting Ahead While Getting Out are well-positioned to help make creative use of these funds. People must act quickly, though; states are already moving to develop their plans for the funds.

Bridges, Getting Ahead, and Getting Ahead While Getting Out, with their books and programs, are proven ways for people from all classes, races, sectors, and political persuasions to take charge of their futures and give back to their communities.

Many participants from poverty who completed the Getting Ahead programs report having suffered from the opioid epidemic.

Bridges offers a common language for the complex issues surrounding poverty, and it brings people from all classes to the planning and decision-making tables.

Peer-reviewed, published research papers document the effectiveness of the Getting Ahead series. They can be found here, here, and here.

In Ohio, the focus is on reentry, but that doesn’t mean that other states will do the same. Find out what the focus is in your state, and advocate for representation at the planning table and/or apply for available grants.

aha! Process can offer virtual meetings to share ideas and solutions.

Please respond to Lynn Jackson ( or Philip DeVol ( if you or a representative of your initiative wants to be included in this learning community.