INDIANAPOLIS – Some Indiana nonprofits are working to expand mental health and addiction recovery services after receiving federally-funded grants.

The state recently set aside $100 million to improve access to mental health services. Much of the funding comes from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan.

Two and a half years after the start of the pandemic, providers say there’s still a higher demand for services, which increases the urgency for more funding.

“There is such a gigantic need,” said Wendy Noe, CEO of Dove Recovery House for Women, a residential treatment facility for addiction recovery in Indianapolis.

Dove Recovery House can accommodate 40 women per night, Noe said. Right now, 135 people are on the waitlist, she added.

“There just really isn’t enough money going towards this disease,” Noe said.

Noe said a recent $1.2 million dollar grant awarded by the state is a step in the right direction. The funds will help her expand her staff by 50% and open a new facility in Jasper that can house 15 women in recovery, she said.

“There were no treatment options, no preventative measures happening in Jasper or Dubois County,” Noe said.

Noe said she also hopes the new employees will help her organization raise enough money to construct an addition onto its Indianapolis site.

The grant was part of nearly $55 million in federal COVID relief funds distributed to organizations statewide under the Community Catalyst Grant program, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The grants are aimed at improving access to mental health and addiction recovery services.

In Fort Wayne, the Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium received a nearly $500,000 grant. That will allow the organization to expand to help connect LGBTQ kids and young adults with health care and counseling services, said MaryClare Clark, president and CEO.

“It is [an] incredibly underserved community, especially around individuals that are in transition,” Clark said.

Both organizations we spoke with have the same goal: helping more Hoosiers.

“I hope that we are able to serve the women in our community the best way we possibly can,” Noe said.

In addition to the $55 million grant program, nearly $28 million in federal funds is going toward community mental health centers across the state to help improve employee retention.