Since 2005, Procter & Gamble/Gillette has provided grants to South Boston Association of Non-Profits to address the problem of substance-use disorder in the neighborhood. This year, P&G/Gillette has committed $150,000 in funding for the Gillette Great Starts grant program to support substance-abuse treatment and prevention programs in South Boston.
South Boston has been disproportionately affected by addiction and substance abuse. According to the Boston Public Health Commission’s “Health of Boston 2016-2017” report, South Boston has higher than the citywide rates of binge drinking, substance misuse mortality, and unintentional opioid overdose mortality rate.
SBANP was established in 2000 to bring together South Boston agencies and organizations to proactively assess needs within the community, share information, strengthen services, and provide a collective voice for South Boston organizations.
These grants from P&G/Gillette help SBANP further its mission of inspiring a collective and powerful voice among the leadership of South Boston’s non-profits to influence change and build a healthier community for all of our residents and neighbors.
The following were awarded grants:
South Boston Collaborative Center
This grant will provide partial funding for a Case Manager position, the primary community resource who provides treatment for clients struggling with substance dependence and dependence-related issues. The objectives of this position are to provide outreach, referrals, assessments, and treatment. The Case Manager also plays a crucial role in the Center’s efforts to provide counseling, with a focus on assisting participants in building coping skills, preventing relapse, and re-engaging in community life.
South Boston Action Council
In order to prevent youth substance abuse, prevention efforts must employ a more holistic, social determinants driven approach. Funds will be used to implement a 13-week Parenting Journey I Program to be conducted in Spanish. Parents and caregivers will meet for 2 hours a week for 13 weeks. The program includes activities, discussions, a family-style meal, and complimentary childcare. In addition, funding will also support the 15-week Family Nurturing Program. Parent education provides caregivers with knowledge, resources, and support to develop parenting skills to enhance child and family well-being. It can also help parents or caregivers learn the tools and strategies to provide a positive and nurturing home environment where their children will thrive physically, emotionally, and cognitively and reduce the risk of youth substance abuse.
RFK Community Alliance
The grant will contribute to specific projects COASA is engaged in during fiscal year 2024,
including: advocating for, serving, and being a resource for the one out of every four children
impacted by alcoholism and substance use issues in their families, giving them access to the recovery they need; co-hosting CAMP COASA – a week-long summer day camp for children living with the stress of alcohol and/or other substance-use disorders at home; offering ongoing support and a special holiday gathering for COASA kids; sponsoring Children of Addictions Week activities in Boston; planning monthly dinners.
Fourth Presbyterian Church
The church’s challenge is to support at-risk families (meals, food, safe programs, connection) while rebuilding familiar and new programs of support and substance-use prevention.
Funding will support prevention efforts through the church’s youth programming, including:
• Meal and grocery support for at-risk families;
• Expanded mental health support (in recovery and post-traumatic healing);
• Youth offerings of theater, dance, music lessons while adding new programs in art, props and sets, video animation, and more;
● Opportunities for positive adult relationships; a bridge to other opportunities at the church (youth group, a Civil Rights pilgrimage trip to Selma and Birmingham) and therefore to other positive adult relationships.
South Boston Community Health Center-Youth Ambassadors Program
Funding will be used to pay stipends to trained Youth Ambassadors. Stipends are integral to the program because paying youth even a small amount illustrates that their time and efforts are valuable and increases a sense of ownership and dedication. The trained will affect positive movement on the goal of reducing the early use of alcohol and drugs among young people through the execution of four objectives:
• Educating Youth Ambassadors (YA) on the effects of alcohol and other drug use and misuse and engage them in positive after-school activities;
• Offering YAs positive roles in the community in partnership with caring adults, including becoming peer leaders on substance misuse prevention;
• Training a group of peer leaders on a “train the trainer” model to educate younger youth;
• Providing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention workshops to 100 South Boston youth by partnering with other non-profit organizations in the community.
South Boston Community Connections Coalition and South Boston En Accion
Funding will support the Nurturing Fathers Program, which provides an environment in which each participant can experience new thoughts and feelings, thus providing the opportunity to adopt more effective and empathic parenting attitudes and behaviors. The grant would allow for implementation of a Nurturing Fathers Cafe, Parenting Courses, and mental health seminars. These programs will not only offer parenting tools, but also help to connect parents with needed resources.
The program is designed to cultivate and support the attitudes and skills for male nurturance, hoping to benefit men, women, and children in family relationships. The program addresses such issues as alcohol and other substances; the cultural roots of fathering; examining the use of power in relationships’ fathering sons versus fathering daughters; negotiation; and conflict-resolution.
South Boston Neighborhood House
Funding will focus on kids through the Education & Career Development program, which provides a safe, supportive environment for 160 diverse, low-income, at-risk youth in South Boston between the ages of 11-18. Through employment and internships, focused skills workshops, and intentional mentoring, the Neighborhood House provides valuable career experience for youth and fosters critical drug prevention life skills including clear communication, critical thinking, and social and emotional learning.
The grant will allow the Neighborhood House to:
• Provide meaningful employment to middle and high school students;
• Offer workshops, training, and professional opportunities, as well as community service and activism opportunities designed to strengthen social, emotional, communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills;
• Guide and support youth through the exploration and application process for appropriate college and career choices;
• Provide gender-specific programming to support the social, emotional, and civic growth and development of young girls and boys;
• Offer programming and outreach extensively to youth living in South Boston's three low-income housing developments.
South Boston Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
With this funding, the organization will be able to continue its focus on Community-Level Risk Factors, including:
• Working with elected officials in not only limiting the number of new alcohol licenses issued but also in reducing the current number;
• Coordinating the Stickers Shock Campaign around New Year's, St. Patrick's Day, and teen summer employment pay days;
• Partnering with the Boston Police on Prescription Drug Take Back events;
• Renewing efforts to make the St. Patrick's Day Parade a soberer and family friendly event by working with BPD in reducing public drinking and intoxication.
• Providing information to residents on responsible hosting as well as their potential liability.
For three decades SPOKE has employed arts engagement as a tool to combat violence,
prevent substance use, and aid people in recovery. The grant will fund the Youth Speak program, which will be offered for youth who live in public housing. The program will take place for 20 hours per week for a seven-week summer session and 10 hours a week during the school year. While engaging in art with peers, socially acceptable skills like cooperation, self-control, and good decision-making will be developed. Art making also provides strategies for dealing with anxiety and/or trauma triggers that can lead to substance use to gain relief. The cooperative behaviors learned and developed transfer to work-ready attitudes and positively reinforce skills to make better choices that reduce substance use. Each youth will meet one on one with the case worker and be offered regular support groups that focus on public health issues like substance use, risky sexual behavior, and gender identification.