The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office received the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant Part II in October 2014. The DFC grant programs support community coalitions across the country. Their philosophy remains, “local problems require local solutions”.
DFC grantees involve a cross-section of the communities they serve, with active participation from youth, parents, schools, businesses, media, local government, law enforcement, and other local agencies.
The DFC Program, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the only Federal drug prevention program that provides funding directly to local communities.
DFC Grant, Part II-Brockton Area Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative
Through Part II of this grant, the District Attorney’s Office has been able to create the first funded cluster of community coalitions on the south shore which addresses the issue of opioid abuse and overdose. The coalition encompasses the towns of Bridgewater, Brockton, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Rockland, and Whitman and utilizes a regional approach.
The primary goals of the grant are to:
- Establish, strengthen and increase collaboration among our communities, federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as public and private non-profit agencies that support the efforts of community coalitions that are working to prevent and reduce prescription opioid and heroin use.
- Reduce prescription opioid and heroin use among youth and adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse.
- Promote the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.
DFC Grant, Part I- Brockton’s Promise
On March 13, 2003 District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Mayor John T. Yunits were joined by state, local and national youth officials, to launch a “Brockton´s Promise” Youth Initiative at the Shaw´s Conference Center in Brockton.
“Brockton is a safer place when all sectors of the community work together,” said District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz. “We’ll do our job on the law enforcement front, but to do our job most effectively we need to partner with parents, faith based organizations, community organizations, and businesses. We need to ensure that every child in Brockton is connected to adults and organizations who care.”
Several community organizations, the Old Colony United Way and Metro South Chamber of Commerce, have pledged their support. The Brockton Blueprint Coalition also supports the initiative.
The District Attorney and The Mayor announced a series of community forums that:
- provide an open, comfortable event for community professionals and residents to become oriented to America´s Promise and Brockton´s Promise
- provide residents and community members the opportunity to become more involved
The Brockton´s Promise Initiative is based on the national America´s Promise youth initiative spearheaded by Secretary of State Colin Powell. America´s Promise is committed to ensuring all youth have:
- Ongoing relationships with caring adults – parents, mentors, tutors or coaches
- Safe places with structured activities during non-school hours
- Optimal physical and mental health
- Marketable skills through effective education
- Opportunities to give back through community service
Brockton’s Promise continues to be an effective community coalition for youth development that aims to improve local conditions for youth in Brockton, MA. Brockton’s Promise engages over 50 professionals from over 40 different agencies, schools, and organizations in the city through its five Promise Teams.
America’s Promise Alliance- Brockton is a four time winner of the 100 Best Communities for Young People Competition
Brockton´s Promise ensures that youth living in some of the city´s highest crime neighborhoods receive the social and emotional support they need to feel safe, loved and respected. Brockton´s Promise is a gathering place for a number of youth serving agencies that recognize the importance of collaboration to help sustain quality programs.
Brockton has received the 100 Best Communities honor from America’s Promise. This honor is due to the community´s strong educational resources and collaborative programs on behalf of children and youth.