Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Building a Unified Network of Harm Reduction Providers Across New York

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

June 21, 2024




In Progress



The opioid epidemic continues to ravage the nation and New York. Historically, New York has been at the forefront of adopting innovative public health strategies, including pioneering harm reduction approaches. Thirty years ago, faced with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, New York introduced one of the nation’s first needle exchange programs, now known as syringe service programs (SSPs). Decades of research point to their efficacy; SSP participants are five times more likely to enter drug treatment programs and three times more likely to recover from drug use than non-participants. In 2024, NYHealth awarded DPA a grant to build a unified statewide network of harm reduction providers to enhance services for New Yorkers with substance use disorders.

Under this grant, DPA will unify and activate New York’s 26 SSPs to create a collective voice that strengthens and sustains the sector for the long term. It will partner with VOCAL-NY, a grassroots membership organization, to deliver training and skills-building workshops to increase SSPs’ capacity to improve service delivery, advocate for policy change, and secure funding. DPA and its partners will also develop a shared policy agenda aimed at increasing public support and funding for SSPs and securing protections for drug-checking services.