Commonwealth of causes

$2.5 million awarded by state to Livengrin Foundation, Northampton Township and Bristol Borough

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Funding for the future: In October 2017, Livengrin Foundation unveiled the Joseph R. Jingoli Jr. Medical Center and Chapman Community Center. To assist the organization, Sen. Tommy Tomlinson recently announced Livengrin will receive $1 million in grant funding. Source: Livengrin Foundation

In October, the Livengrin Foundation took a huge leap forward in the nationwide quest to end the opioid epidemic. The nonprofit addiction treatment facility unveiled the state-of-the-art Joseph R. Jingoli Jr. Medical Center, one of the region’s largest inpatient detox facilities, and Chapman Community Center, a new home for its First Responders Addiction Treatment program.

To assist Livengrin in its efforts, state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-6) recently announced $1million in grant funding will be awarded to the organization for the upkeep of the medical center and expansion of the much-needed FRAT program.

The grant was awarded by Gov. Tom Wolf through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Administered by the Office of the Budget, the purpose of the commonwealth program is to build economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects in Pennsylvania.

Though it was a lengthy and competitive application process, Livengrin came out victorious. On Dec. 20, president and CEO Richard Pine received a letter from the state notifying him of the grant. According to the RACP’s award summary, the money will go toward equipping the approximate 16,600 square-foot medical center and 3,936 square-foot first responders treatment building.

“The funding of Livengrin is absolutely vital to our community during this opioid epidemic,” Tomlinson said.

The mission of the custom-designed, 36-bed Joseph R. Jingoli Jr. Medical Center is to create a positive environment during the difficult early stages of addiction treatment and detoxification. In a special unit, symptoms of withdrawal are medically managed and supervised by a team of health professionals, who personalize the process for each individual patient.

Throughout detox and afterward, patients can participate in counseling sessions, group dining sessions and other activities. Services are also available for family members to help them better assist their loved one in the recovery process, such as a detox family therapist.

Livengrin’s high standards of patient care are vital to helping those suffering from addiction fully recover and re-enter their community — one of the main reasons it was selected for the grant.

As for the FRAT program, the funding will allow one of the oldest first responders programs in the country to expand within the all-new Chapman Community Center. The space includes a 120-seat presentation room, treatment offices and ample space for education and sobriety-related events.

Founded in 2002, the FRAT program at Livengrin is run by trained first responders exclusively for their fellow first responders. For those who serve as police officers, firefighters, EMS and military, it’s a cultural expectation for them to be strong, always acting the part of a hero. So when one of these men or women becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s not easy for them to break away from that norm and seek help.

FRAT connects these individuals to peers who walked in their shoes. They understand firsthand the challenges of a first responder and can better help those struggling with addiction overcome their obstacles. Since it was created, FRAT has treated more than 1,000 first responders and veterans, and with the RACP funding, the hope is for that number to grow.

Livengrin Foundation is located at 4833 Hulmeville Road in Bensalem. For more information, visit livengrin.org.

In addition to the Livengrin Foundation, Tomlinson also announced $1.5 million in grant funding awarded to Northampton Township and Bristol Borough.

Northampton Township received $1 million to renovate its police headquarters, which includes a firearms training facility and new technology equipment. The township has already purchased the land located at 111 Township Road and the property directly east of the building. The project includes land acquisition, site preparation, renovation of the existing building, building expansion, security fencing and office furniture and equipment.

Bristol Borough received $500,000 to install a new storm sewer drainage system. The RACP funding, in combination with the borough’s funding match, will allow for the design and installation of the 48-inch x 60-inch system, which will be approximately 3,350 linear feet. Due to the large scope of the project, the RACP funds will be used solely for construction-related costs.

“I’m pleased that these grants have been approved. These projects are critical to their respective communities,” Tomlinson said. “The renovation of the Northampton Township police headquarters is crucial to the safety of our community and efforts. The installation of a new storm system will help alleviate flooding issues in Bristol.” ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com