Commonwealth Receives Large Donation to Help Fight Opioid Crisis

SCRANTON, Pa. -- This is Sammi Henahan, she passed away two years ago from an opioid overdose when she was just 23 years-old.

Her memory lives on through the Forever Sammi Foundation which helps recovering addicts find housing.

"She was the light of the world to me. She had this bubbly personality, very infectious smile, very charismatic, very intelligent, and a free spirit," said Sammi's Father Martin Henahan.
To fight the opioid crisis former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $50 million from his namesake philanthropy to ten states across the U.S. and he is pledging 10 million to our commonwealth.
"The first state we picked was Pennsylvania. We picked Pennsylvania because it has doubel the average rate in this country of deaths from drugs. So there's a big problem here," said Michael Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor.
"72,00 people did die last year in the United States from a drug overdose. All 72,000 deaths were unnecessary and we could have prevented them. That's what we want to do," said Governor Tom Wolf.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is going to work with the Wolf Administration over a three year period to figure out the best use for the money.
People we talked to here in Scranton say they hope it makes a difference.
"I wish that there was a very diligent watchdog to keep an eye on this ten million dollars to make sure that it doesn't just get lost in this fishbowl of finances that goes to clinics that are popping up like dandelions," said Henahan.
Martin says he gets about a few hundred texts, calls, and e-mails every day from people looking for help.
"A lot of the kids nowadays are coming into treatment facilities homeless. So therefore, once the funding runs out for them for the clinical aspect of treatment, they have nowhere to return to that's a safe environment," added Henahan.
the Forever Sammi Foundation is available for help 24/7 by using the link below.

3 comments

  • Mopar Driver (@RustyMopars)

    The first step is not to get high / stop giving addicts alternate highs as getting high is the problem and until their mentality changes there is no hope- More so use such money for jobs for them . When I went to school we were taught heroin was poison ( and true) So if you are so stupid as to poison yourself then Darwin will win out .

    • jimbrony

      Was just wondering how interesting it would be to watch where the money goes and how it gets spent. Very generous offer from Bloomberg, but don’t forget he also said “If you want to have a gun in your house, I think you’re pretty stupid.” Rather arrogant and hypocritical thing to say when you have your own armed security detail.

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