TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Shawnee County District Court now has the necessary funding to support its Veterans Treatment Court services. County Commissioners approved the court’s receipt for a grant award at Thursday morning’s meeting.

The grant, which comes from the ‘Kansas Fights Addiction’ organization and the State of Kansas through the federal opioid settlement, totals $200,000. Those funds are to be used on substance abuse treatment services for program participants.

“Our judicial district and our court do see veterans who served our country coming through they judicial system,” Court Services Administrative Officer Amanda Wilson said. “And they often times have service-related needs that I think we identified and we need to be able to provide services for them.” 

Wilson and other court staff assembled the grant. The Veterans Treatment Court opened in January, but Wilson told 27 News there have been community concerns about its ability to help veterans who do not qualify for V.A. services.

Wilson said she didn’t want veterans to be excluded from the treatment services they need. Financial needs coupled with community concerns prompted this grant.

“We know there are veterans out here who need support and services,” Court Administrator Lea Welch said. “So, we’re hoping our program, along with the grant funding will help provide what they need to work their way through the legal system and have a positive outcome.” 

There are currently four veterans enrolled in the program, and a fifth who is in the process of being approved.

Funds from the grant will be dispersed five times during the grant year, which lasts from Oct. 1 2023 to Sept. 30 2024. If this grant proves to be beneficial in ensuring the court’s ability to provide services to veterans, Welch said the court will likely apply for more grant funding in future years.