BOSTON, MA September 26, 2023 – The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI), a nonprofit organization focused on helping law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery was proud to be selected to receive an unrestricted gift of $1.5 million from Yield Giving, a foundation created by MacKenzie Scott, the American novelist and philanthropist.
The gift could not have come at a better time. Nearly 110,000 people died last year of drug overdoses in the United States, according to preliminary data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The persistent rise in overdose deaths caused by fentanyl and the quickly increasing rise in deaths from fentanyl-laced xylazine and stimulants including cocaine, offers a grim picture of the current opioid crisis. Now more than ever, public health and law enforcement agencies are looking for ways to help with this ongoing crisis.
JAMA Psychiatry recently conducted a study to see if PAARI post-overdose outreach models were associated with lower opioid-associated fatality rates. The JAMA published findings found that the implementation of post-overdose outreach programs was associated with lower opioid fatality rates over time compared with those that did not implement such programs.
PAARI’s mission is to support law enforcement and public safety agencies in creating non-arrest pathways into treatment and recovery programs and in turn, save lives. This gift from MacKenzie Scott and Yield Giving will immensely help PAARI further its mission to help people and communities struggling with substance use disorders.
John Rosenthal, PAARI Co-Founder and Board Chair said, “We are very grateful to MacKenzie Scott and Yield Giving for their incredibly generous and unsolicited gift to PAARI. This $1.5 million will help save lives and expand our reach to more law enforcement agencies across the country who are focused and dedicated to providing non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery for people in their communities struggling with addiction.”
“This gift surprised us all! We are so thankful for MacKenzie Scott and Yield Giving’s generosity and willingness to gift so many incredible and deserving non-profits.” says Zoe Grover-Scicchitano, Executive Director of PAARI, “PAARI’s staff and board created a strategic plan for the funds that will include hiring more staff to help with development and programmatic work, elevating the voices of those with lived experience, training on Diversity Equity and Inclusion and recruitment of new law enforcement partners to reach more individuals suffering from substance use disorders. We know that this funding will save lives.”
Written by, Isabella Nowak
About PAARI: The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester, Mass., Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, PAARI has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, strategic guidance, connection to training resources, and other capacity-building resources to more than 650 police departments in 40 states.
PAARI works with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. PAARI and our law enforcement partners are working towards a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved tens of thousands of lives, changed police culture, and reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.