2017 Catalyst Award Winner
In 2013, Jody D’Agostini founded Community in Crisis following the overdose deaths of two young adults in her community. Both were long-time friends of her college-aged daughter, who tearfully asked her mother, “how many more have to die before someone will do something?” This moment served as Jody’s call to arms — she knew she had to take action against the heroin/opiate epidemic that was killing record numbers of 18-30 year olds, both in New Jersey and more broadly across the United States.
Initially, Jody worked through a grassroots coalition sponsored by the Somerset Hills Y that brought together public health officials, law enforcement, school leaders, clergy and representatives from other sectors to offer education and support for opiate addiction. In the past two years, Jody’s leadership has taken the coalition to the next level, transforming it from a Y-funded initiative to a separate 501c3. The organization offers training opportunities for first responders, bi-weekly support groups for families struggling with addiction, medicine take-back days and town hall meetings. Thanks to Jody’s vision and determination to make a positive change in her community, Community in Crisis continues to grow, diversify funding, bring in new volunteers and serve the community with new, innovative outreach programs.