After years of applying, the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment (PAACE) has been awarded the White House’s 5-year Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant.
The DFC program was instituted by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1997 with the aim of providing funding to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent youth substance use. The philosophy behind the program is that local drug problems require local solutions. Data shows that the funding is effective, with lower rates of youth substance use in places where DFC dollars have been invested.
This year, 197 new DFC grants were awarded nationwide, with PAACE in Parker being one of those awarded the grants. DFC is highly competitive, with hundreds of coalitions vying for funding in places like Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago.
PAACE says it will be putting the money to good use, beginning this week. The organization will be hiring a Prevention Specialist to join their team for program-specific tasks and working with young people.
The PAACE Coalition includes many area partners, government offices, law enforcement agencies, organizations, media outlets and officials and is achieving acclaim at the state level for mobilizing to tackle substance abuse and other youth-related issues.