Somerset County officials announced the commencement of the 2021 Somerset County’s Operation Helping Hand (OHH) Initiative.
Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated that on Saturday, April 17, members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and Bound Brook Police Department, accompanied by Recovery Support Specialists from Reach for Recovery (R4R) Program, Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center and OHH Coordinators from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, conducted a door-to-door outreach of known Somerset County residents with substance use disorders.
It should be noted that all engaged adhered to social distancing, as well as health and safety protocols. The goal during each encounter was to have the Recovery Support Specialists engage residents in need providing on-the-spot referrals to treatment and other resources.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that during the operation, the teams facilitated one-to-one contact with 23 households, establishing 18 positive connections to residents and/or their families. Four residents were happy to report they had already sought out treatment services on their own and seven residents agreed to enter into a treatment service and start the recovery journey on the spot.
Ultimately since the program’s inception, a total of 44 Somerset residents suffering from substance use disorders and/or their families entered into services. On average, Somerset County operations have 85 percent positive outcomes with residents.
Prosecutor Robertson stated the success of Somerset County’s OHH initiative would not be possible if not for the hard work and dedication of its community partners, especially, the working professionals of Somerset County Department of Human Services, (R4R) Program – Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center, Somerset Treatment Services, and Pioneer Family Success Center – EmPower Somerset.
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewel developed OHH as a new way to combat opioid addiction in Bergen County while serving as the County Prosecutor in 2016.
Under his leadership as Attorney General, the first multi-county “OHH” initiative was launched in five counties in June 2018.
Through the use of federal and state funding, the OHH program was expanded to 17 counties in September 2018, and to all 21 counties in the state in September 2019.
Prosecutor Robertson and Chief Fodor request that anyone seeking these professional services offered to kindly reach out to the (R4R) Program at the Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center for, Recovery Support at (908) 253-3119 and mention the OHH program; the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office OHH coordinator at (908) 231-7100.
Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.