In 1995 a group of Rochester educators and other concerned individuals came together around shared concern about young people in the community drinking, smoking and using other drugs. These individuals formed the Rochester Coalition Against Drug Abuse and Violence. In 1996, H. Clay would make the Coalition’s first community presentation on how to help children and youth live up to their values when confronted with undesirable alternatives.
In October, 1997, the group became the non-profit Rochester Community Coalition, whose mission (as revised) was “dedicated to supporting healthy lifestyles, preventing and reducing substance abuse, and promoting safety in collaboration with youth, families and other sectors of our community.” The modern RAHCC holds true to this mission today.
In May of 1999, after incorporating the Auburn Hills coalition, the newly-named Rochester/Auburn Hills Community Coalition joined the Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the county’s Coalition of Healthy Communities. This county coalition would later become today’s Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities (ACHC).
From 2004 to 2009, RAHCC received a federal grant which was used for hiring full-time staff and offering several programs to youth to help them avoid or cease using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. As the budget and funding of the RAHCC has evolved, so has its programs, staff and events. Currently, RAHCC supports events such as Youth Dialogue Day, NARCAN trainings, prescription drug collection and disposal through Deterra Bags with local police and more. Programs and resources currently offered by RAHCC include our Youth Action Council and various tool kits.
As we move forward, we must understand the root causes of substance abuse in order to address it. The RAHCC continuously examines the risk factors prevalent in the community and strategizes about how to overcome them. To do this, we conduct in-school surveys, collect accredited national data, and utilize resources such as The Search Institute Attitudes and Beliefs survey.
We also conduct events such as Youth Dialogue Day, a program that existed before our grant and continues now. This program brings youth and community leaders together to discuss issues of mutual concern. This occurs yearly, usually in the fall. RAHCC also continues to supply information and support to parents as they guide their youth.
Other funding is through ACHC to support the continuation of our community programs.