Providence, Central Falls receive mentoring grant

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Providence, Central Falls Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Receive $75,000 for Mentoring Project

Mayor Taveras' Healthy Communities Office will prepare Central Falls for federal prevention grant application

– The Mayor's Substance Abuse Prevention Council, a program within Providence Mayor Angel Taveras' Healthy Communities Office, has received a $75,000 Drug Free Communities (DFC) mentoring grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to work with the Central Falls Prevention Coalition (CFPC) over the next year. The Mayor's Healthy Communities Office will help Central Falls strengthen its coalition and build capacity to effectively address substance abuse prevention in Central Falls. Providence was the only recipient of a DFC Mentoring Grant this year in Rhode Island and one of only 19 new mentoring grant recipients nationwide.

"Providence's Healthy Communities Office is working closely with Central Falls to bolster substance abuse prevention and build a healthier community," said Mayor Taveras. "We are grateful to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and to our congressional delegation for their support of these efforts."

Key objectives for the project include working to strengthen the Central Falls coalition's organizational structure and leadership, increasing community readiness to address substance use issues in Central Falls, and undergoing a strategic planning process to develop an action plan for future prevention work in the city. The ultimate goal is to help the CFPC prepare to apply for a full Drug Free Communities Grant, which could bring up to $625,000 in federal prevention funds to Central Falls over a five-year period. On September 30, Providence will enter the fifth and final year of its current DFC grant.

"Providence has been recognized nationally for the great work it has done to reduce youth substance abuse," said Central Falls Mayor James Diossa. "I look forward to continuing to support the Central Falls Prevention Council and to working with Progreso Latino and the City of Providence to ensure that this partnership succeeds."
The Mayor's Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MSAPC) has existed continuously since 1987 and is the drug and alcohol prevention voice and policy-making body for the City of Providence. In 2012 it was incorporated into the City's newly formed Healthy Communities Office.
"Many of our coalition members have been committed for years to drug prevention, treatment and recovery in Providence and throughout the state," said MSAPC Chairman Nick Zaller, Ph.D., a researcher at the Miriam Hospital. "I know Central Falls can benefit from our members' and staff experience, and we will learn more from their coalition about new ideas we can bring to Providence in the process."

The Central Falls Prevention Coalition has been meeting regularly as a formal body for approximately two years. While Providence's coalition is based in city government, the CFPC is staffed and coordinated by the community organization Progreso Latino. The coalition includes numerous representatives of city government and is chaired by Central Falls Fire Chief Robert Bradley.
"The DFC Mentoring grant will help Progreso Latino lead community prevention efforts in Central Falls to the next level," said Mario Bueno, director of Progreso Latino. "I am proud of what we've already achieved in the few years we've been running the CFPC, but with support from Providence and a better ability to apply for federal funding, we can achieve so much more for our kids and families."