City of Annapolis, MD

09/25/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2020 11:45

Updated 9/25: Mayor Announces New Hire for Outreach Post to Assist Substance Use and Trauma Victims

Update (September 25, 2020):

Toni Strong-Pratt tendered her resignation as the Community Outreach Support Navigatorin the Office of the Mayor. The Mayor accepted the letter on September 24, 2020.

'Due to the work that I desire to continue in the communities that I am called to serve, [the position] with the Mayor's Office limits my capacity to do so,' Strong-Pratt wrote in a letter to Mayor Buckley. 'I was unaware that the scope of work that I would be required to fulfill would create a conflict of interest between my employer and my engagement with the community.'

At her request, Strong-Pratt received no compensation from the City.

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Original announcement (August 11, 2020)

Mayor Announces New Hire for Outreach Post to Assist Substance Use and Trauma Victims in Local Communities

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 11, 2020) - The City of Annapolis has hired a Community Outreach Support Navigator to assist victims of chronic substance use and/or traumatic situations. Toni Strong Pratt, a longtime community leader, will work about 30 hours a week connecting residents directly to resources and service providers.

'Annapolis is seeing the continuing effects of substance use and trauma and we need to find a way to stop the cycle of addiction and violence. We need a concerted effort, a focused effort,' said Mayor Gavin Buckley. 'This program further acknowledges the City's need to address these issues directly and to connect people to the help they need.'

The outreach services will involve contacting individuals in locations where there is a high risk for overdoses or with a high prevalence of violence. Once these connections are established, the navigator will work with individuals to address barriers to obtaining services, including housing, treatment, health care or other human service needs. Finally, the navigator will coordinate transportation and continue with advocacy and supports.

Strong Pratt is the co-founder of D.E.S.I.R.E. Addiction Ministry, founder of People Builders Consulting and former Co chair of (ACT) Anne Arundel Connecting Together,the former president of Bay Ridge Gardens Resident Council, the former president of the parent Board of Head Start Annapolis Garden, President of Homes at the Glen Resident Council and a member of First Christian Community Church of Annapolis. She has worked with Chrysalis House and assisted local fire and police departments as well as Anne Arundel Medical Center.

'I will fight tirelessly to bring about positive change, not for a particular group but for all people,' Strong Pratt said. 'My faith is my foundation and advocating for those needing a voice is my passion.'

Strong Pratt will receive training, attend staff meetings, coalition meetings, community meetings and engage with local agencies. At the end of each week, the Mayor will receive a written progress report to ensure that objectives and goals are being met.

Strong Pratt will begin the week of August 10, 2020.

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