Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Tuesday that the Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People received a $125,000 grant to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
The grant, which helps fund the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition, a People Helping People-sponsored group, is part of $19.8 million in new Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants to 147 communities across the country.
The DFC Program provides funding over a series of years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Studies have shown that the rates of substance use have declined significantly in DFC Communities since it was created.
“We must empower young people to stand up to the temptation and danger that accompany drug use,” Capps said. “Prevention is the most effective tool we have to reduce the consequences associated with drug use among young people. This grant will support the Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People and the local work they are doing to mobilize individuals and organizations to reduce substance use among youth, pointing them instead toward a more successful and safer future.”
“The Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition is very pleased and privileged to be receiving continued support in our seventh year of funding through the Federal Drug Free Communities Grant,” coalition Director Mary Conway said. “We believe in our youth and the power of community and will continue to work to change aspects of our local environment that contribute to underage abuse of alcohol and other drugs, decrease the social and health consequences of substance abuse by limiting access to illegal and harmful substances and change the social norms of acceptance and permissiveness of underage substance use.”
The Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition — a group of volunteer community members dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing and reducing alcohol and other substance abuse among youth — is thriving due to its partnership with the federal government, harnessing the strength of local community collaborations to effect a substantial reduction in youth substance use since first receiving a grant in 2007.
— Chris Meagher is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.