Communities that care

Mercer Island CTC receives federal grant

The Mercer Island Communities that Care Coalition (CTC) will receive $83,059 in Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Federal grant funding. Mercer Island is one of only 90 communities across the nation and three in Washington state to receive this federal grant to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol abuse among youth.

United States Senator Patty Murray, as then ranking member of the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee played a key role in funding this grant program.

“Efforts to keep our youth drug-free are critical to healthy communities in Washington state,” said Murray.”The Mercer Island Communities that Care Coalition will use this funding to mobilize and organize the community to prevent and reduce substance abuse, helping to keep kids safe and off drugs.”

“Mercer Island’s youth drug use mirrors that of every affluent community in America,” said Cynthia Goodwin, Director of the Mercer Island Department of Youth and Family Services.“The real news about Mercer Island is that it is one of only two affluent communities in the U.S. that has organized a large coalition of parents, community members, school personnel, city staff and other youth serving organizations staff to comprehensively address the issue. The majority of Island youth are thriving. We want to ensure that all Island youth thrive and are drug free.”

John Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy and President Bush's “Drug Czar,” said, “Today, 840,000 fewer youths are using drugs than in 2001. Federal funding of coalitions like Mercer Island Communities that Care Coalition help us leverage that progress with initiatives that re tailored to the local community's needs.”

The goals of the Mercer Island Communities that Care Coalition are to strengthen and expand partnerships to reduce alcohol and drug use and to reduce substance abuse among youth and adults over time by addressing underlying risk factors and promoting protective factors that buffer risk.

The DFC program provides grants o f up to $500,000 over five years to community organizations that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. The 90 new grantees were selected from 321 applicants.

CTC seeks board members

The Communities That Care (CTC) board is currently seeking new members for the upcoming academic year. The board is a group of parents and concerned citizens working to reduce underage drinking and drug use on the Island. After a two year community mobilization process that culminated with the development of a community plan, the current and new board members will take on the task of working with parents, youth and community groups to implement the community plan and lower the level of youth use on the Island. Please call Sharon Broz at 236-3532 if you are interested in joining the board.

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