Governor makes donations

Governor makes donations 4Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin donated a quarter of the Governor’s salary to two, Roanoke-based nonprofits working to provide resources for increased wellbeing and community support. The organizations are: Straight Street, a Christian outreach ministry to support at-risk teens, and the Bradley Free Clinic’s HOPE initiative to support individuals battling Substance Use Disorder (SUD). They have partnered with the Virginia Department of Health and the First Lady’s office on ‘It Only Takes One’ — a fentanyl education and awareness initiative specific to the Roanoke region.

The Governor and First Lady donated $21,875 to each of the nonprofits. The donations will support the shared missions of Straight Street and the Bradley Free Clinic to provide quality care, education and support services to at-risk community members and in particular, those battling addiction and substance use disorder and/or at higher risk of fentanyl poisoning.

“I am proud to support these two nonprofits supporting the Roanoke Valley community in significant ways,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I am grateful to Straight Street and the Bradley Free Clinic’s HOPE Initiative for providing spaces and resources for hope, health and healing in the beloved Roanoke region. Together, the men and women of Straight Street and the Bradley Free Clinic are making a tangible impact in the lives of Virginians.”

“The men and women of Straight Street and the Bradley Free Clinic are champions of well-being in the Roanoke Valley,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “Together, they provide wrap-around support services for youth, their families and individuals in need. I am grateful for the many ways they bless Virginians.”

Executive Director Keith Farmer founded Straight Street Roanoke Valley in 1994. Designed as an outreach ministry for teens in middle and high school, the mission of Straight Street is to provide a safe, healthy, faith-based environment where young people and their families can thrive. Straight Street offers various programs, such as ‘Parent Life’ for teen and young mothers, dads and their babies, The Lampstand, a human trafficking ministry serving juvenile victims, and with various school systems, social services and foster care agencies to assist students in need.

“The Governor and First Lady’s generous donation to Straight Street will enable the ministry to continue serving students and families in and around the Roanoke Valley. All of Straight Street’s services are provided at no cost, and this gift will help the ministry provide meals, a safe place to meet, clothing for homeless and refugee students, Christian counseling support, diapers and supplies for teen/young mothers, support services for schools and the detention center, and assistance for juvenile human trafficking victims across Virginia,” said Keith Farmer, Executive Director of Straight Street. “As a ministry, Straight Street’s mission is to serve the Lord first and honor Him as they serve the community and those He directs to Straight Street. With the 30th anniversary of the ministry approaching later this year, this gift will allow Straight Street to continue serving and sharing the love of Christ in the Roanoke Valley and across Virginia.”

The Governor and First Lady traveled to Roanoke to visit the Bradley Free Clinic before the salary donation ceremony. The Bradley Free Clinic has been a staple of the Roanoke community since its founding in 1974. The HOPE Initiative, started in 2016, was designed to assist individuals seeking addiction treatment and recovery resources through Certified Peer Recovery Specialists. By working closely with community partner agencies as well, the HOPE Initiative is spreading awareness and aid to address the severity of the Opioid and Addiction Crisis confronting the Roanoke Valley.

“On behalf of the Bradley Free Clinic and the HOPE Initiative, we are so grateful for the salary donation from the Governor and Mrs. Youngkin, designated to the work we do at the HOPE Initiative,” said Janine Underwood, Executive Director of the Bradley Free Clinic. “This donation will support our community outreach as our Peer Recovery Specialists expand their reach to work alongside community organizations like the health department, law enforcement, Fire & EMS, Block By Block, the Harm Reduction Coalition, and the Drop In Center. Together we can do what we could never do alone!”

The Governor’s support of the HOPE Initiative and Straight Street underscores the First Lady’s commitment to tackling the fentanyl epidemic in the Commonwealth, specifically in Roanoke. In January, the First Lady launched her It Only Takes One fentanyl education campaign alongside the Attorney General and Roanoke community partners to bring awareness to the rise of fentanyl death and usage among young people in Virginia.

By supporting Straight Street, an organization designed to foster healthy habits in young people and their families, as well as Bradley Free Clinic’s HOPE Initiative to confront the opioid and addiction crisis crippling the Roanoke Valley, the Governor and First Lady reaffirm their commitment to leaving every corner of the Commonwealth better off.

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