On June 1st leaders in Lakewood joined together in Springbrook to learn, share, & commit to taking action at the "Springbrook Tour & Talk". On what you may ask? The real challenges facing our kids in Lakewood like easy access to drugs, shortage of positive activities, and creating a healthier future. We also hear of these challenges in the news with reports on Heroin & prescription overdoses, changing Marijuana laws, and youth delinquency. Just from this one event where over 50 leaders gathered, there are many things to celebrate:
- 29 leaders in all committed to being a resource to help youth in Lakewood:
- 11 new partners committed to meet with us & engage in substance abuse prevention for youth!
- 12 organizations want to increase awareness for their staff on substance abuse issues facing their youth!
- 14 committed to advising & reviewing our strategic plan this next year!
- 19 committed to attend a Lakewood’s CHOICE coalition meeting!
- 13 committed to attending the Springbrook Block Party & Resource Fair (July 29th, 1pm-4pm @ Springbrook Park)
After looking carefully at all the responses from leaders, parents, & youth, it's clear there’s a wealth of leadership in this community & the solutions are already here! Overall the diversity & creativity of ideas brought forth affecting substance abuse, public health, infrastructure, equity, community, landlord/tenant law, parks, & our kids was nothing short of amazing. A lot of the great conversation focused on projects, initiatives, & ideas that will be best led by each expert in their respective field as we continue to proactively learn more, grow, & take action together.
Having said that, Lakewood’s CHOICE received an amazing gift in being able to identify solutions from the leaders in our community that match up with our area of focus: Youth substance abuse prevention in Lakewood! The three themes for solutions that emerged from our key leaders were:
1. Educating youth & families on substance abuse
2. Community based programs & initiatives (i.e. block watch, alanon, etc.)
3. Increasing community connection. (safety & sense of belonging)
We'll be following up soon to make sure we capitalize on all of the commitments made above! If you were unable to make the event last month & want to learn more, I have good news for you: It’s not too late! We are passionate about engaging with you on the issues that matter. Please let us know how we can be a resource for you as you’ve already been a huge resource for us!