Vision: To live in a Safe and healthy community by eliminating drug use, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.
Mission: Through wide spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, we will address areas of concern including, but not limited to, reducing Rx drug abuse across the lifespan, underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug use.
History: Safe HOMES and Safe Communities Coalition
In 2003, Hunterdon Safe Homes was formed to address parents providing alcohol to minors. One initiative was the development of the SAFE HOMES directory in Hunterdon County, where parents could identify themselves as parents committed to hosting alcohol-free gatherings for their teens. The Directory is now online with more than 1000 members.
In 2009, with the resources from the federal Drug Free Communities grant, Safe Homes changed its name to the Safe Communities Coalition to widen its reach. The Coalition also added other drugs to its mission. In 2011, the successful efforts of the Coalition expanded once again; HOPE Project of Hunterdon/Somerset merged with the Coalition to include Somerset County as well.
What We Do:
- Education:‘Know the Law’
- ‘Parent’s Who Host Lose the Most’ Campaigns
- Adult and Youth Coalition Meetings
- Safe Homes Directory
- Community Prevention Programs
- Advocacy for Policy Changes
- Environmental Strategies to improve the health of our counties
- Community Events
- Reliable Knowledge on Trends
- Collaboration with Legislators, Law Enforcement, Parents and Businesses
Drug-Free Communities Success Stories:
Could you imagine what life would be like if Hunterdon and Somerset Counties were drug-free communities, free of the risks of underage drinking problems and drug abuse?
That is the goal of Safe Communities Coalition. Some of the successful strategies of the Coalition have been to make environmental changes:
- Private Property Ordinance enactment has increased from 8% to 33%
- The first Permanent Prescription Drug drop off box was installed in Flemington, collecting over 500 pounds of Rx drugs since October 2011, therefore reducing availability on the street.
- Other successful campaigns such as ‘Know the Law’ partnered the Coalition with local liquor stores.
- A very active Youth Coalition has created PSA’s for schools.
- The mobile truck advertises positive messages for teens, indicating that most kids DON’T drink.
What 378 lbs. of prescription medications looks like!
If you have any questions, you can contact any of the following Coalition members:
LESLEY GABEL, Project Director
JERRI COLLEVECHIO, Hunterdon and Somerset Project Coordinator
PEGGY DOWD, Hunterdon Project Coordinator
CATHY CANTERINO, Coalition Associate and Media Specialist