CAMDEN – The federal government is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Camden-based agency to combat the growing spread of heroin and other opiates in South Jersey.

Rep. Donald Norcross, D-1, announced Project HOPE was awarded a $324,316 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The money will allow the agency to hire two certified drug and alcohol counselors and two licensed clinical social workers.

“These funds will enable us to treat more patients dealing with substance abuse issues in a primary care setting. We’re very excited about this award,” said Patricia DeShields, CEO and executive director of Project HOPE.