HCC: A Brief History
Healthy Cattaraugus County is a Drug-Free Coalition which originally had its start in 2009 as a task force of community stakeholders who shared the same goal to reduce the amount of underage drinking in the county. It had been found through data collection efforts that underage drinking was a major concern for Cattaraugus County, and in some respects, was almost socially accepted as a “rite of passage”. This need for change inspired the Council on Addiction Recovery Services (CAReS) and others in the community to come together with a primary focus of providing education on the dangers of underage drinking. Eventually, as progress was being made, the group expanded their efforts and formed a coalition which then allowed an opportunity to apply for grants to help in funding the prevention efforts. Through CAReS as the fiscal agent and partner of HCC, the coalition was awarded a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) to further meet the needs of underage drinking prevention.
As time went by and the SPF-SIG came to a close, there was another concern identified as data showed that Cattaraugus County youth marijuana use was on the rise. Then it 2014, CAReS further expanded HCC’s work through receiving an award for a Drug Free Communities Grant (DFC). The primary goals of HCC’s work then became increasing community collaboration and reducing youth alcohol and marijuana use. The initial DFC grant lasted for five years and due to the amazing work and efforts of HCC’s members and partners, the coalition is now working under a final five-year DFC grant.
HCC now has over twenty active members involved in various initiatives across the county as well as approximately 100 other members who support the mission and goals of the coalition through their collaborative efforts.