City’s Health Department awards first round of opioid settlement funding to combat crisis

March 12, 2024

The City of Minneapolis is losing community members to the opioid epidemic at an alarming rate. To help combat this crisis, the City is expected to receive approximately $18M in opioid settlement funds over the next 18 years from national settlements reached with opioid distributors and manufacturers.

The City has awarded the first round of opioid settlement money to community-based, culturally specific organizations combating the opioid crisis, with a focus on underserved communities and youth.

“Nobody chooses addiction,” said Commissioner Damōn Chaplin, Minneapolis Health Department. “As a Health Department, our dedication lies in ensuring equitable access to a standard of care for the residents of Minneapolis suffering from substance use disorder.”

The awardees of the Community Opioid Response & Engagement (CORE) funding will focus their work on treatment, long-term recovery, and prevention to reduce disparities in the number of overdose-related deaths and emergency room visits.

"Right now, we’re making intentional investments in long-term recovery options, especially for our communities affected most,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “To do this, we’re expanding culturally specific care and investing in treatment facilities, a mobile medical unit, and medication-assistance treatment programs. And we couldn’t do this important, long-term work without the help of our amazing partners like Access Healing, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), Generation Hope, Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC), and the Minnesota Somali Community Center. By working together, we can offer hope and build a brighter future for our residents."

“Minneapolis is dealing with a significant opioid crisis – and this funding will help our community fight back against one of the biggest issues facing our city,” said Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw, Ward 4. “Our City is proud to partner with such incredible organizations to fight this epidemic and build a brighter future for our residents.”


The awardees represent the diverse needs of the Minneapolis population and will increase access to and options for opioid treatment. Their focus will carry out the outlined CORE funding goals.

Access Healing will receive $20,000: A significant portion of the funding will go towards establishing safer and more supportive culturally specific recovery housing facilities. Funding will also help expand wraparound services to provide:

  • Individualized case management
  • Community building activities
  • Rapid rehousing services
  • Skill-building opportunities
  • Financial and job-seeking support

Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) will receive $100,000: The program will focus on serving Latino youth and their families. They have outpatient chemical health practitioners, and therapists and provide both substance use and mental health services.

Generation Hope will receive $78,844: The work is focused on addressing addiction, mental health, and the associated stigma within the East African community, with a strong emphasis on empowering individuals in recovery through workforce development. Services include:

  • Peer support and recovery
  • Youth-centric treatment access
  • Culturally sensitive services with youth in mind
  • Workforce development and training

Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC) will receive $100,000: The project will launch new services to meet culturally specific needs. GMCC will launch a mother-led support network and Nar-Anon program to address:

  • Culturally specific peer recovery coaching and support for family members
  • Weekly culturally specific Nar-Anon-modeled meetings
  • New culturally specific training for family members with a partner struggling with substance misuse
  • Increased access to buprenorphine (Suboxone)

Minnesota Somali Community Center will receive $74,994: The project will be located in a dedicated medical office suite within the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. This location ensures easy access for the East African community, reducing barriers to treatment. Services include:

  • Treatment
  • Assessment
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Mental health support

Opioid statistics

  • In 2022, there were 1,002 opioid-related deaths in Minnesota
    • 244 of those deaths were in Minneapolis (24%)
  • Minneapolis opioid deaths from 2021 to 2022 increased by 24.8 percent
  • Minneapolis represents about 7% of the state’s population, but it accounts for 24% of all opioid-related deaths
  • Fentanyl is the most common opioid being abused in our city. It’s a synthetic opioid approved for treating pain. It can be:
    • Up to 50 times stronger than heroin
    • 100 times stronger than morphine
  • The rate of opioid deaths among Native Americans is 30 to one compared to white people
  • The rate of opioid deaths among African Americans is four times higher

Fatal opioid overdoses by year























Opioid resource page

Opioid Survey

In 2023, Mayor Frey proposed, and the City Council approved the deployment of opioid settlement funds to support evidence-based strategies for opioid addiction.

We are looking for feedback on how to best support our community and use the opioid settlement funds. The survey will ask community members' thoughts on:

  • Unmet needs
  • Barriers to getting services
  • Your priorities for using the money

Take the survey and find opioids and substance use resources

By working together, we are building healthier communities in our city.

Additional Quotes from Awardees

  • “We are proud to partner with the City of Minneapolis working on fighting the opioid crisis. These grants directly impact and benefit organizations like CLUES that are focused on expanding access to prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery,” said Benjamin Feigal, Senior Director of CLUES Behavioral Health Clinics. "We commit to approach our work with humility and strive to share power with those most impacted to advance social and economic equity and wellbeing for Latine communities. These funds provide small organizations access to crucial resources and the opportunity to collaborate with each other to support the most impacted communities.”
  • “Thanks to the City of Minneapolis Core grant, Access Healing Center is using these funds to provide vital culturally specific sober living homes for people in recovery. Addressing a crucial need, these homes are bridging a gap, allowing individuals to focus on their treatment journey with dignity and support. Culturally specific sober living homes play a pivotal role in treatment by providing a supportive environment that acknowledges and respects the unique cultural backgrounds of individuals in recovery. These homes not only offer a safe space for healing but also integrate cultural traditions, values, and support systems, which are often integral to the recovery process. By catering to the specific needs and experiences of East Africans and Muslims, these homes foster a sense of belonging and understanding, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of treatment and promoting long-term recovery success.” Access Healing

  • “The Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC) is grateful for securing these resources to continue addressing a major gap in opioid response, in particular within East African communities. Our Peer Recovery Coaches have built a supportive community for people at all stages of intervention, treatment, and recovery, and we continue to make progress in engaging families and significant others in supporting their loved ones struggling with substance use disorders. This funding will allow us to continue and expand this work. In particular, we will be hiring and training several new Peer Recovery Coaches who have similar lived experiences as our target audience. We are also going to be developing culturally-specific peer recovery training to supplement the current peer recovery courses available.” Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC)