Canton getting national award

A national nonprofit organization chose the city for its use of federal funds to support a youth opiate prevention program.

CANTON The city will be one of five communities nationwide to receive the Audrey Nelson Award next month in Washington, D.C.

The National Community Development Association, a nonprofit comprised of more than 400 local governments, chose Canton for “best community practices of utilizing federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds,” according to a news release.

Canton used $65,000 of its CDBG money, awarded annually to local governments and states, for a one-year youth opiate prevention program, community events hosted by police and other drug-prevention outreach.

The SAFE HOMe program was created through a partnership between the city, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery and the Stop Heroin From Killing committee. It teaches fifth-, eighth- and 10th-graders in Canton City Schools about proper use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs and how to resist negative peer pressure and make good decisions.