Posted Monday, August 3rd, 2020
Joined By Gov. Codey, Attorney General Grewal, Sen. Bucco, Freeholder Selen
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon today unveiled a new, custom-designed vehicle for his signature Hope One mobile outreach program that offers vital services to persons dealing with substance use and mental illness.
The new mobile unit was funded by a $150,000 bipartisan-supported appropriation in the state’s 2020 budget.
Joining Sheriff Gannon at a bi-partisan event on the Morristown Green to show off the new vehicle were former Governor and current state Sen. Dick Codey, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, state Sen. Anthony Bucco, Morris County Freeholder Tayfun Selen, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, and other dignitaries and Hope One partners.
“We are grateful for the generous funding that will keep our Hope One program on the road well into the future. It’s been a cathartic experience, offering stigma-free aid and support to anyone suffering with a substance use or mental health disorder,” said Sheriff Gannon.
“As we battle a global pandemic, we must not forget our state’s most vulnerable residents, including those suffering from addiction or mental health disorders,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Programs like Hope One ensure that we continue providing essential services to those who need it most.”
Emblazoned with Morris County’s ‘Stigma Free’ logo, this new rig will bring an array of services and treatment to county residents. Trained and certified peer recovery specialistswill deliver potentially life-saving support and guidance.
“Hope One has successfully reached out to many people in our county who are struggling with substance use and mental illness, helping residents and their families to obtain help, and giving them hope for a brighter future,” said Freeholder Selen, who was joined at the ceremony by freeholders Doug Cabana, John Krickus and Stepen Shaw.
Sheriff Gannon created the Hope One program in 2017 by collaborating with human services, law enforcement, treatment, recovery experts from across Morris County. On April 3, 2017, Sheriff’s Corporal Erica Valvano, the coordinator of Hope One, embarked on the first of 443 community stops made over the past three years.
The Hope One team made its first stop at the Morristown Green in a former SWAT vehicle that was retrofitted by using $15,000 in drug forfeiture money.
Stopping for five hours at least twice a week in locations that are known for overdoses, homeless populations, hand-to-hand drug transactions, the Hope One team offers free Narcan training and kits, guidance to substance use and mental health services, and even transportation to detox and rehab facilities.
As of Aug. 3, Hope One team has made 12,269 community contacts and trained 2,584 people in the use of Narcan. The team has assisted 143 people with accessing mental health services and has helped another 177 people with accessing recovery and rehab programs.