Howey-in-the-Hills, FL, October 9, 2014– For Immediate Release – For ten years, the Safe Climate Coalition has been working hand-in-hand with local agencies and non-profit organizations to develop and implement strategies to create safer schools through the prevention of substance abuse and violence.
After a decade of success with measurable results, the Safe Climate Coalition felt it was time to widen the focus beyond safe schools and reach out to our local communities, where an even greater impact can be made through education and advocacy of healthy living. The goal remains the same: teaching Lake County youth how to make healthier choices and create safer environments both at home and in their community.
Who is Be Free Lake?
1. We focus on reducing and preventing substance abuse and violence among our youth. Strategies include trainings for law enforcement and other public leaders and presentations at community events.
2. We develop the Lake County Community Resource Guide, a comprehensive guide to available agencies and program resources. Help is available for most situations; food, shelter, communication, transportation. The up-to-date guide, along with the Connection Helpline, closes the gap in finding solutions.
3. We use evidence based programs and projects to help empower individuals and systems to meet life’s challenges with healthy choices and positive behavior.
4. We encourage all service providers in Lake County to use only evidence based programs and projects that reduce the risk factors and increase the protective factors of our Lake County youth.
5. The Quality of Life, a community needs assessment report, shows trends in key areas affecting Lake County youth; underage drinking, drop-out rates, drug use, teen pregnancy, homelessness, etc. Published by Be Free Lake every year, the data shows positive and negative trends over the last 5-7 years through a collaboration of data supplied by local agencies. Numbers don’t lie! These trends set the agendas for local government priorities.
6. Be Free Lake advocates the “Be the Wall” program to empower parents to address the topic of drugs and alcohol with their children early and often while being a good role model for non-destructive behavior.
7. Young people with alcohol or drug addicted parents are four times more likely to become addicted if they choose to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. We work with Lake County Schools to reach children before they take that first drink and stop the cycle.
8. An ongoing resource for social challenges affecting Lake County.
Be Free Lake knows that a strong community has parents who are active and involved in their children’s lives. They may have outgrown some things, but they haven’t outgrown you. When you talk to your children about drugs and alcohol, be clear, be firm, be consistent. Be the wall, because they need you now more than ever.
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