Brainerd Lakes Area Drug Education (BLADE)/Opioid Coalition

Protect Our People Partnership Opportunity

Who We Are

We represent our Brainerd Lakes Area Drug Education (BLADE)/Opioid coalition and come from a variety of sectors in Crow Wing County. We are community members, persons with lived experience, family members, service providers, law enforcement, county employees, and people who care about our community. Our mission is to Prevent Drug Abuse, Protect Our People, and Preserve Our Community. We fulfill this mission by engaging with community members in part, through our BLADE work.

The Invitation

The BLADE/Opioid Coalition invites community members/agencies to advance collaborative, community-based work through a funding opportunity that will impact one or more of the following strategies:

  1. Expand capacity of programs targeting families impacted by substance use disorder with a focus on increasing reunification rates and safe placement options, or providing focused education and outreach for children in foster care whose primary reason for placement is parental substance use.
  2. Funding and support for schools to be trained on implementation of curriculum such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Healthy, Positive Outcomes, Substance Use Disorders, and Positive Community Norms; or integrate targeted outreach within existing school departments focused on high-risk priority groups and vulnerable families.
  3. Integration and strengthening of services and treatment of substance use disorder, mental health and primary care throughout the criminal justice system

Our Commitment to You

BLADE/Opioid Coalition will support grant work by leading quarterly learning circles for sharing related to grantee successes/opportunities each quarter. The final quarterly meeting will include a report out of grant activity and outcomes to members of our county board and BLADE/Opioid Coalition members. We will offer flexible funding to participants to support work in Crow Wing County, where it is needed the most. We have designed a process to distribute this funding in which participants are empowered to be the grant makers and will help inform decisions about how the funds are allocated among those participants in the funding experience. We greatly value transparency and are happy to discuss any questions or ideas about this endeavor.

How to Apply

Up to $20,000 will be available to community members and/or organizations in Crow Wing County for work to advance one or all of the three strategic areas (above) that impact substance misuse and the impacts of the opioid epidemic in the community. These funds are from the national opioid settlements with the state of Minnesota. All funding must meet the requirements of the opioid grant funding outlined by the State. Funding can be used for projects, programs, events, stipends, supplies, marketing, and related expenses (such as staff time for partner organizations). Each application will be reviewed by the coalition to ensure the grant is meeting all requirements. A list of accepted expenses can be found in Exhibit A of the MOA included here:  Individuals and organizations can apply for grants between $500 and $20,000 by submitting the attached application as well as an in-person presentation of a proposal narrative that can come in any form, including a video, a one-pager, or something completely unique like a lyric poem, artwork, etc.

Required information includes:

  • How much funding you are seeking and how you will use it. Please be specific to ensure the expenses are eligible for grant funding
  • What you hope to achieve
  • How you will engage with the community
  • How your proposal will advance the work of reducing the impact of opioids and other substances in the community.

Application link

Process & Timeline

Proposals will be reviewed by the BLADE/Opioid Coalition to ensure alignment with our BLADE work and the budget expenditures allowable under the grant. All proposals will be shared with the full membership of the BLADE/Opioid Coalition; however, an appointed review committee will ensure all applications have met the identified criteria. Only those applications who meet criteria will be reviewed for approval.

Timeline (August - December 2023)

  • August 1st : Application opens
  • October 2nd: Application deadline
  • October 11th: The review group will review each application to ensure grant criteria is met
  • October 16th – 26th : Window for BLADE/Opioid Coalition Members to review applications
  • October 27th : Applicants present to BLADE/Opioid Coalition (required)
  • November 21st : Committee of the Whole
  • November 28th: County Board Meeting Review and Approval of Applications
  • December 19th : Funds disbursed for selected projects
  • Quarterly meetings begin March 2024 – December 2024. More information will be shared with grantees


Please contact one or all of us!