Revere has partnered with CCHI for more than 20 years to tackle the community's biggest challenges--from reducing substance abuse and violence to improving healthy living.

A coastal city located five miles north of Boston, Revere is a rapidly changing community of roughly 52,000 residents. Once made up of primarily Italian-American families,  approximately 62% of Revere residents are White, 24% are Latino (up from 9.4% in 2000), 5.5% are Asian, 5% are Black, and 3% are Multiracial/Other. More than 30% of Revere’s minorities are foreign born, and 48% of Revere High students speak a first language other than English, more than 2.5 times the state rate. Accompanying its growing diversity are many small businesses, groceries and restaurants started by new immigrants. Poverty rates in Revere are 15%, higher than the statewide average 11%, though Revere has been able to prove itself as a determined “community that can.”

Revere CARES

Partnering with CCHI in the 1990s, Revere mobilized to tackle some of the community’s biggest challenges. A broad community coalition, known as Revere CARES, has successfully reduced youth substance abuse rates and worked to change community norms around youth substance use. Revere CARES’ success was recognized in 2009 with the Coalition of the Year Award from the national Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. Other strong community groups, such as the Revere Beach Partnership, have helped to build additional community-based programs, such as the Revere Beach Memorial and the Farmers’ Market. The Revere After-School Partnership has brought after-school programs to all elementary and middle schools and MGH summer jobs to high school students.

To assess previous effectiveness and to identify emerging challenges, CCHI conducted a community health assessment in Revere during 2011 to 2012 beginning with the formation of an assessment committee. Data was collected from the U.S. Census, MA Department of Education, MA Department of Public Health, the police department and community-based organizations. Under the guidance of the Revere Assessment Committee, a Quality of Life survey was distributed in multiple languages and completed by 756 residents. Eight focus groups were held in the city.

By a significant margin, Revere, similar to other communities, identified substance abuse, and Obesity/healthy living, as their top two issues. Revere also identified developing the assets of youth and encouraging healthy relationships and violence and public safety as priorities. To address the new priorities Revere CARES will integrate gang violence into its substance abuse work and public safety into its obesity work. In addition, Revere CARES will establish the Healthy Relationship Initiative to address multiple high risk behaviors and health issues identified by the community at large, such as teen pregnancy, mental health and interpersonal violence.

Based on the assessment, the following community health improvement initiatives were identified:

Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention

The priorities for the substance abuse work will include: reducing marijuana and prescription drug misuse; building capacity to address the needs of the recovery community; bringing strategies to prevent fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses to other local communities in order to take a regional approach; and addressing substance abuse related violence. The coalition will continue work to prevent alcohol and tobacco use as well as local efforts to prevent/reduce fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses.

Healthy Eating/Active Living & Public Safety

The healthy eating/active living work will have a greater focus on strengthening the work in Revere Public Schools by engaging more students; employing strategies to increase education around physical fitness and nutrition; and improving school breakfast and lunch programs. The community-based healthy eating/active living work, a collaboration between Revere CARES and the City of Revere, will focus on the establishment of neighborhood councils. These councils will work on environmental strategies to improve and increase access to and safety of open spaces, and increase access to affordable healthy food. Neighborhood councils, to be supported by a community organizer, will address open space and food environment issues, and oversee the distribution of mini-grants to organizations that support this work, as well as expand existing programming and initiatives such as the walk-to-school program, community gardens, the adopt-a-park program, and urban trail. Revere CARES will also develop and implement a corner store initiative to increase access to healthy food; strengthen and expand the Farmers’ Market;and work with the Revere Chamber of Commerce to develop and implement a new dining initiative ordering food.

Healthy Relationships & Relationship Violence Prevention

In 2010 Revere CARES established an ad hoc task force to assess and make recommendations to address high teen pregnancy rates. Due to the assessment, Revere CARES has now formalized and will expand this work. The Healthy Relationship Initiative seeks to prevent/reduce early initiation of sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy as well as prevent dating/domestic violence. To accomplish this, the initiative will employ strategies to increase knowledge and community awareness; improve policies and enforcement; increase prevention and intervention services; and strengthen partnerships and collaboration. The first two years will focus on the development of a comprehensive out of school plan for middle and high school youth; the adoption of a city-wide youth asset development model; and the engagement of youth in the task force. In years two and three, the task force will address curriculum issues and develop a social marketing campaign. In year four the task force will address the gaps in additional prevention and intervention services. Throughout the process, the task force will work to increase community capacity and readiness.