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How should Enumclaw spend $220,000 for combating youth substance abuse? You can help decide.

Coalition will hold its first meeting Tuesday, Oct. 26.

A new coalition is forming in Enumclaw to decide how to spend $220,000 earmarked for combating youth substance abuse and promoting good mental health.

The grant came to Enumclaw because of its participation in the statewide Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative, a program run by the Washington Health Care Authority’s Division of Behavior Health and Recovery. The initiative’s goal is to reduce underage use of alcohol and marijuana, improve academic performance, and reduce juvenile crime, reads an Oct. 14 press release from the Enumclaw School District.

How those goals will be met in Enumclaw, though, is yet to be seen, as the coalition that will be in charge of coming up with a plan to spend that $220,000 is still being formed — and you have a chance to join it.

The coalition is having its first meeting this Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Birth to Five Center (1640 Fell Street). COVID protocols will be followed.

According to Coalition Coordinator Greta Huntley, it’s not just important for a large number of people to join the coalition, but a wide range of people that represent different aspects of the community, like the law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs, healthcare workers, mental health counselors, educators, parents, faith leaders, local government, the media, and more.

Once enough sectors of the community come together and decide what leadership within the coalition will look like, the coalition will then come up with an action plan for how to spend the $220,000. The plan would then need to be approved by the Washington State Health Care Authority before the money is free to be spent in the community.

The grant can be used for services like training, technical assistance, and community and school-based prevention services.

If you don’t have the time or ability or be a part of the coalition itself, there’s still a way to help guide the coalition’s direction; in order to move forward with spending the grant money, the coalition needs 180 adult community members to complete an online survey.

The survey is available in both English (https://www.research.net/r/KIENEN2021) and Spanish (https://es.research.net/r/KIENSP2021).

More information about the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative www.theathenaforum.org.

For more information about joining the coalition, contact Huntley at gretchen_huntley@enumclaw.wednet.edu.


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