3,000 Health & Safety Care Bags and Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Resources Distributed to Columbus Residents to Support Community COVID-19 Response

The donation comes through the City Pilot to Reduce Harmful Drinking and is made possible by a $50,000 grant from the AB InBev Foundation (ABIF), as part of its Community/COVID-19 Response Fund

November 9, 2020 COLUMBUS, OHIO – 3,000 Health & Safety Care Bags, containing hand sanitizer, first-aid kits, face masks, and informational materials on accessing alcohol use prevention and drug-related mental health resources will be distributed by Southeast Healthcare to homeless residents in shelters, camps, and other areas across Columbus. Resources are provided through the Columbus City Pilot to Reduce Harmful Drinking – a public, private partnership of ABIF, Anheuser-Busch, the City of Columbus, and others – which has been working in Columbus since 2016 to address the harmful use of alcohol.

“Southeast has a long standing history of working with people who are homeless in encampments, on the streets, and in shelters,” said Sandy Stephenson, Chief Healthcare Officer at Southeast Healthcare. “We are pleased to have this unique opportunity to bring much needed personal safety items into the camps and shelters with messages of health, staying safe, and also continuing our conversation with people about substance use. We are committed to this effort that enhances our core work around hope, opportunities, and linkage to services.”

Supplies will be distributed across Columbus’ Opportunity Neighborhoods through Southeast Healthcare’s Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH). Masks provided will help to meet the city-wide recommendation to wear a cloth face covering when in public, and the requirement to do so on public transportation, in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“By protecting those most vulnerable, and providing supplies like masks to meet public health recommendations, we can better equip the Columbus community to prevent additional spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther. “These types of partnerships are critical for helping Columbus address and recover from this crisis, and we are so grateful to the organizations stepping up to make this work a reality.”

As part of this grant to Southeast Healthcare, recipients of the bags will be screened to understand their level of risk for harmful alcohol use, and will be provided a referral for follow-up if they are at high risk. This offering comes as part of the Columbus City Pilot to Reduce Harmful Drinking’s long-standing mission to address the harmful use of alcohol through electronic screening and brief interventions and responsible beverage service.

“We have been working closely with partners in Columbus for years to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. We are committed to this community, so as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact, we took guidance from the City Pilot Steering Committee to direct support to where it is needed most,” said Courtney Burks, Senior Director of Programs and Operations at the AB InBev Foundation. “Through this support, we hope to help the community during this time of crisis and move closer to a stage of recovery.”

As the state’s daily number of new cases continues to trend upward, face masks, first-aid kits, hand sanitizer, and mental health resources, can provide much-needed support to vulnerable populations and help control the spread of COVID-19.

“We all need to work together to fight COVID-19, and that starts with supporting our most vulnerable communities,” said Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts. “Providing masks and other critical resources to homeless residents in Columbus is an important step in protecting their health and getting our case numbers to trend downward again.”

The Columbus City Pilot to Reduce Harmful Drinking Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from Columbus Public Health, The Ohio State University, The Department of Commerce, Columbus Distributing, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s Office, and Anheuser-Busch. The grant is administered through CAF America.

To learn more about the Columbus community’s response to COVID-19, visit Columbus.gov/coronavirus. To learn more about the AB InBev Foundation, please visit www.abinbevfoundation.org.

About the AB InBev Foundation

With a mission to accelerate the reduction of the harmful use of alcohol globally, the AB InBev Foundation was created in 2016 by AB InBev with an initial pledge of $150 million USD over 10 years to bring scientific rigor to the work of the Global Smart Drinking Goals, with a primary focus on reducing the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% in six cities by the end of 2020, and implementing the best practices globally by the end of 2025.

ABOUT ANHEUSER-BUSCH

For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate more than 100 facilities, including breweries, wholesaler distribution centers, agricultural facilities and packaging plants, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry. From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.  

ABOUT SOUTHEAST HEALTHCARE

Southeast Healthcare is a comprehensive mental health, chemical dependency, physical healthcare, dental and homeless services organization that has been serving Columbus and since 1978 and is now in eight Ohio counties.  Southeast’s mission is to serve diverse populations regardless of their economic status.  With the belief that all people have the capacity to grow and change, Southeast provides services to people of all ages, cultures, races, religious preferences, genders and sexual orientations in order to enhance wellness and recovery, thereby improving families, workplaces and communities.  Southeast serves people who are most in need and require different levels of intensity of services.  Southeast is accredited by the Joint Commission and is partially funded by HRSA, SAMHSA, the ADAMH Board of Franklin County, the Community Shelter Board and its funders and the ADAMH Boards in the Southeast regions of service. Southeast, Inc. Franklin County is headquartered at 16 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 (614) 225-0980 Fax (614) 225-0986 or visit www.southeasthc.org.

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