This past July, the City of Boston's first ever Youth Substance Use Prevention Strategic Plan was unveiled at an event at City Hall. The plan was developed by the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services in collaboration with Mass General and other community partners, with support from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts (BCBSFMA).
At the event, Dr. Peter Slavin, Mass General President, announced that the hospital would invest $1.3 million dollars in grant funding over the next five years to support implementation of the plan. Mass General issued an RFP, seeking initiatives that focused on key pieces of the plan--supporting collaborations and community engagement across the City and helping Boston to collect neighborhood data to identify health disparities.
We are pleased to announce that, to date, a total of $180,000 has been awarded to four Boston coalitions:
- The Allston Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force (ABSATF)
- The Chinatown Coalition (Boston Asian Youth Essential Service)
- The South Boston CAN Coalition
- Project RIGHT (supporting the Greater Grove Hall community)
"Your grant award allows us to restart our prevention programming for Grove Hall Youth by reopening the Jeremiah Burke gym for prevention activities. This will help us to build intentional relationships with these hard-to-reach young people, showing them how to address the trauma they have experienced from violence in a positive way and not resort to underage substance use for their grief," said Michael Kozu, Interim Co-Director of Project RIGHT. "We look forward to working with you, the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services and the other coalitions to address youth substance use prevention."
"Prevention work takes time, commitment and collaboration," says Leslie Aldrich, CCHI Executive Director. "We are proud to support the wonderful work of these four coalitions and look forward to releasing additional funding to other Boston collaborations and efforts that support youth substance use prevention."