Augusta County program receives federal funding

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 6:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Pathways program in Augusta County is getting a boost in federal funding.

The program, started by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is an alternative to criminal prosecution for nonviolent crimes, like possession of drugs. However, drug dealing and violent crimes do not qualify, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney, Tim Martin.

“It allows them to get out pick up roadside garbage for a specified number of hours, it hooks them up with services, for instance drug rehabilitation services, housing, food, and also for those who qualify for Medicaid, we help them apply for and get that Medicaid service,” said Martin.

Martin said Augusta County has been doing pre-charged diversion for about 5 years and they have received federal support.

“It is self-sustaining in the sense we have received a $ 1,000,000 grant to be used over three years from the federal government,” said Martin.

He added they had previously received a $600,000 grant from the federal government.

“We thought if we can get these people off these drugs and take some steps to help improve there lives, then that is going to be a huge public safety benefit.”

Martin said the program has received national attention and some people from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office are going to Denver to talk about the program. He added the grant will help them offer more assistance.

“What we will be able to do is expand our resource offerings to the folks who are in the program to hopefully get them clean, get them on the right path,” said Martin.

Martin said the program has been successful and hopes to see it expand to more localities.