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Press Release

Justice Department Awards Grant to Penquis Community Action Agency for Its Opioid Affected Youth Initiative

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

PORTLAND, Maine—A Bangor-based nonprofit organization will receive more than $700,000 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.  The Penquis Opioid Affected Youth Initiative will provide enhanced services to youth in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.

“The opioid crisis and current pandemic have significantly impacted Maine’s children and youth,” said U.S. Attorney McElwee. “I am thrilled that the Department of Justice is able to assist Penquis in doing the crucial work of providing services to communities affected by the opioid epidemic.”

Kara Hay, Penquis’s CEO, stated, “Funding from the OJJDP will provide crucial programming for affected youth, supporting the efforts of Penquis and 15 community partners representing health, law enforcement, local government, social service, and victim service agencies. Together, we will deliver trauma-informed and trauma-responsive services, including community resource navigation for children, youth, and adults; engage youth through activity groups and evidence-based programming to increase prosocial skills and resilience; and develop comprehensive community approaches to supporting youth health, safety, and wellbeing.”

Since 1967, Penquis has worked to alleviate and eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty in Maine.  As one of 10 community action agencies in Maine, Penquis offers a comprehensive array of youth services including restorative justice, youth engagement, support services for homeless youth and youth at risk of homelessness, and support for youth victims of the opioid crisis. More information is available by visiting

OJJDP funding programs support state and community efforts to develop effective prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system. The Opioid Affected Youth Initiative supports the efforts of states, communities, tribal jurisdictions, nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, and institutions of higher education to implement programs and strategies that identify, respond to, treat, and support children, youth, and families impacted by the opioid epidemic to ensure public safety.  Learn more at   


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David B. Joyce
Public Information Officer
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Updated November 18, 2021