The Leaflet – States Utilizing Training Voucher Programs to Combat Poverty

Published July 3, 2015

States Utilizing Training Voucher Programs to Combat Poverty

Access to Recovery (ATR) is a national career training program helping people move from dependence to self-sufficiency. The voucher program, launched in 2003, currently receives $100 million per year to fulfill its mission of helping low-income people in recovery restart their lives and avoid relapse.

Eleven states receive ATR grants for select services that help people get back on their feet. These services range from addiction treatment to recovery support to career training. ATR programs vary from state to state. Examples include offering vouchers to provide interview suits, sets of tools, car repairs, and cell phones. Some states even allow participants to put the money toward driver’s licenses or high school equivalency tests. Others allow recipients to set up a checking account using the funds.

According to the National Association for Addiction Professionals, President George W. Bush established this $600 million federal treatment initiative “to help Americans suffering from substance abuse and addiction find treatment by providing vouchers to individuals seeking assistance.” They continue, “[A]pproximately 100,000 people can be treated through this voucher program, which is currently being funding at $100 million per year.”

States have gone further than just offering vouchers. Many states have developed a set of services aimed at target populations. Michigan currently serves only Native Americans and funds tribal healing methods. Illinois and Ohio serve adolescents in the criminal justice system, and North Carolina works with local universities to help students with addictions.

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