Our coalition is at a crossroads. Five years in, we have achieved great things, and come a long way in our journey to reduce youth substance abuse. However, there is still plenty of work to do, and we cannot do that work without broad community buy-in and support.
Attendance at coalition meetings has been low this year. This makes it hard for us to make progress as a coalition, and even harder to have the big impact we are going for. It is also going to make it really hard for us to obtain 5 years of funding through the Drug Free Communities program, which would provide us funding to make a greater impact, access more resources, and keep our coalition going.
Can you help us get back on track? Many of you have been involved with Manchester Voices for a long time now, and you have a valuable perspective on how we have grown and changed, and insight into what we can do to get people interested and excited about our work once more.
I'm asking Coalition members and interested community members, adults, high school youth, and parents, to make a special effort to come to our coalition training. We are flying in a trainer from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) for an all-day training, Thursday June 25, 9am – 4:00 pm (8:30a coffee & breakfast), located in the Village Conference Room (912 City Rd, Manchester, MI 48158). The training will include an overview of the Strategic Prevention Framework Model with a focus on Assessment. We will develop a plan to complete a Community Needs Assessment which will include where/how to obtain information related to population needs, including levels of substance abuse and related problems, available resources to support prevention efforts and community readiness to address identified prevention problems or needs.
While it has been discouraging to have so few members show up for our bi-monthly coalition meetings, I am still hopeful about the future of our coalition. We have decided to re-brand as SRSLY Manchester to help support and promote regional prevention messages and increase our access to resources. Additionally, we hope to breathe new life into our coalition as we have been granted the opportunity to utilize the remaining funds of SRSLY Chelsea’s Drug Free Communities Mentee Grant. This is how we have been able to hire a trainer to come in and help us grow as a coalition and complete a Needs Assessment for Manchester.
Despite my slightly dismal tone I want to express that our Youth membership has been impressive. Youth members are engaged, excited, and present for activities. Parent’s have been fantastic with volunteering to help at events, such as the Haunted High and Variety Show. However, we need increased adult participation to insure the survival of this coalition and make real positive change in Manchester.
I know how busy everyone is and I would like to ensure that SRSLY Manchester continues to exist and evolve into a coalition that can be productive and fit into the busy lives of its members. However, to create a structure that works I need members to be present to help develop this new structure.
Please join us in charting a course that will help us achieve our goals.
Lindsay Hannah, LLMSW
SRSLY Manchester Organizer
You are invited …
SRSLY Manchester Coalition Training
Overview Strategic Prevention Framework with a focus on Assessment
Needs Assessment Plan Development
Where/How to obtain information related to population needs
levels of substance abuse and related problems
available resources to support prevention efforts
community readiness to address identified prevention problems or needs