Press Release – 11/19/19

November 19, 2019

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Community leaders unite to address substance use disorder, announce new coalition and crisis center

Bloomington, Ind. – Today, community leaders from Monroe County, Indiana, joined together to announce the formation of the Stride Coalition, a group comprising public, private and nonprofit organizations to help our community address substance use disorder. With the support of a significant grant from IU Health and the IU Health Foundation, today Stride also announced the development of a dedicated 24-hour crisis diversion center.

Since its founding in 2017, the Stride Coalition has worked behind the scenes to map out the currently available community resources that support those with substance use disorder. With over 40 community organizations represented as members, the group has identified gaps and
worked toward solutions.

“One of the critical problems identified by the coalition was the lack of a place to take someone in crisis that isn’t jail or the hospital. Neither option is helpful to the individual, and both drain public resources,” said Linda Grove-Paul, vice president of Adult Services at Centerstone.

“People in crisis often need something as simple as a hot meal and a safe place with trained professionals available for support.”

To meet that need, the most significant undertaking by the coalition is the establishment of a jointly funded crisis center — one of the first of its kind in Indiana — slated to open in spring.

With commitments from the Bloomington Police Department and the City of Bloomington, the Bloomington Health Foundation, Centerstone, the Community Foundation of Monroe County, Cook Group and Monroe County, the Stride Coalition raised funds for the crisis center in downtown Bloomington. Matching the funds already raised, IU Health and the IU Health Foundation provided a $1,050,000 Community Impact Investment grant, which will allow the crisis center to be fully funded for three years. Centerstone will run the center’s daily operations.

“The crisis center will serve as a front door to the many resources that we have in the community to support people struggling with substance use,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group and one of Stride’s founding members. “We’re pleased to have this commitment from IU Health and the IU Health Foundation to help Monroe County create a
community model to address substance use disorder as the public health issue it is. Together, the Stride Coalition, IU Health and the IU Health Foundation are putting those in need at the forefront to create a stronger community.”

Groups interested in supporting these efforts can learn more at and join the coalition to help further our mission.
About the Stride Coalition. The Stride Coalition formed in 2017 as a group of public, private and not-for-profit organization that collectively aim to make positive changes in how we recognize and treat substance use disorder in Monroe County. The coalition began when community leaders recognized that while a significant amount of resources were available for those with substance use disorder in Monroe County, they weren’t always aligned or well connected.

The group’s mission is to mobilize its resources, knowledge and influence to drive a coordinated community-wide substance use treatment effort that helps people build healthy and productive lives. By putting the people most affected by this issue at the center of the problem, the coalition works from facts and data to remove common barriers to treatment, such as politics and stigma, from the process.

Learn more about the Stride Coalition at
Media Contact
Marsha Lovejoy