The Revere CARES Coalition strengthens the health of Revere by addressing priorities established by community members; utilizing an environmental approach; advocating for evidence-based, culturally competent strategies, programs and services; and increasing connectedness among individuals and organizations. Revere CARES is an award-winning coalition with 350 members from across the community dedicated to preventing alcohol and drug abuse among Revere youth. Coalition members represent a variety of sectors, including parents, youth, government officials, educators, health professionals, first responders and law enforcement. The Coalition oversees two major initiatives: Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs and Revere on the Move.
Substance Use Disorder Prevention
Revere CARES’ substance abuse prevention efforts engage the community in a variety of ways. These strategies can be categorized into four areas of activities: policy development and enforcement, educational opportunities, community collaboration, and access to services. Examples of these strategies include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Policy: Strengthen policies to limit access to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) and enforce consequences. These efforts have included advocacy at licensing commission hearings, compliance checks, Sticker Shock Campaigns, and support for the rollback of bar closing hours in Revere.
- Education: Change in social norms. In collaboration with Revere Public Schools, the Revere Police Department, and several other local groups, Revere CARES launched the first social marketing campaign known as the ‘Power of Know’ in 2003 to increase community awareness about the risk, harm and penalties associated with ATOD use. In 2010 the campaign was expanded and is now called the Power of Action. This latest campaign efforts urges parents to get the facts about substance abuse, talk to their children about not using drugs, enforce the consequences for breaking the rules and stay connected with other parents and community members who want to keep our youth alcohol and drug free.
- Collaboration: Provide educational opportunities for parents and develop a parent network. Through the STOP Act Grant, Revere CARES has conducted parent coffee sessions to provide parents with opportunities to connect with each other and to learn about how substance use affects youth brain development.
- Positive Youth Development: Improve conditions that relate to overall well-being in local youth: Since 2000, Revere CARES has collaborated with the City of Revere and local after-school providers to obtain funding for youth programming that has now become institutionalized throughout the community. That work has since expanded into efforts to increase and improve assets in the community that build resilient, healthy, and capable youth who are less likely to have a substance use disorder. Needs in this area based on youth, parent, and community feedback include a youth center (like a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club), greater access to early childhood care, increased focus on mental health and stress management, peer-to-peer support networks, homework assistance, and opportunities to lead.
Healthy Eating/Active Living
With the support of many community partners, Revere CARES created the “Revere on the Move” campaign to celebrate Revere’s progress and continue the work of creating a healthier community.
A community assessment in 2006 found that childhood obesity was a key concern among residents. Additional data backed up that concern, showing that children are eating fewer healthy foods, getting less physical activity in school, and spending more time in front of TVs and computer screens. In response, Revere CARES created the Food and Fitness initiative, now known as Revere on the Move, bringing together a collaboration of community residents and organizations committed to preventing childhood obesity and hunger. To meet these goals, the initiative works to:
- Increase access to healthy foods
- Increase opportunities to be physically active