MCSAP received a Drug-Free Communities grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in 2015, enabling the coalition to begin zeroing in on the 53206 area code to implement specific Drug-Free Communities projects. The grant is expected to continue for at least five years, with the potential for a 10-year commitment.
The 53206 Drug-Free Communities Project aims to reduce youth alcohol and marijuana use in 53206 by middle and high school-age students. The 53206 Zip code includes Milwaukee’s Amani and Lindsay Heights neighborhoods.
The 53206 DFC aims to promote positive youth development and resilience in the neighborhood and support youth and families to thrive. Middle and high school students from the area have rates of alcohol and marijuana use, well above the state and Milwaukee Public Schools averages.
The coalition recruits community members, including youth and parents, to participate in a broad variety of prevention strategies and projects, including retailer compliance checks, community projects for youth, media literacy, and public outreach and education.
Since access to services also reduces substance abuse in families, the 53206 DFC works with its partners to reduce barriers for families to obtain housing, employment, and health care, and improve the quality of life for all neighborhood residents.
The 53206 Drug-Free Communities project has built deep alliances with:
- The Dominican Center
- COA Youth & Families Centers-Goldin Center
- Safe & Sound
- Amani United
- Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
- Auer Avenue Community School
- Hopkins-Lloyd Community School
- Hephatha Church
- Many individual residents and local organizations
The 53206 Drug-Free Communities Project is involved in a wide variety of community projects, including:
- Youth Drug Awareness Surveys: 53206 DFC members surveyed hundreds of students in 2016 and 2018 to get one-of-a-kind, accurate data about their marijuana and alcohol usage and the perception about the risks and harms of this behavior.
- MCSAP Marijuana Youth Summit 2017: 53206 DFC members helped to promote and staff MCSAP’s annual youth summit. This year, the summit focused on the harm caused by youth marijuana use. Fox 6 interviewed 53206 DFC Coordinator John Eshun at the summit.
- Retail Assessments: 53206 DFC staff worked with the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network to do store assessments in the neighborhood to look at the marketing and placement of various products in corner stores, primarily tobacco products and e-cigarettes, alcohol, and food.
- Youth Alcohol Compliance Checks: The 53206 DFC is partnering with the Milwaukee Police Department and youth from MPD's Ambassador Program to conduct compliance checks in summer 2017 to determine if liquor stores are selling alcohol to minors illegally.
- Pulling Together for Peace Awards Dinner, December 2016: The 53206 DFC partnered with COA Youth & Family Center-Goldin Center and Safe & Sound to host the first ever Pulling Together for Peace Awards dinner, which recognized 28 parents, residents, staff, youth, and store owners from the Amani and Harambee neighborhoods that have gone above and beyond to service their communities in a positive way. Brother Andre Lee Ellis from the We Got This Program keynoted the event, which drew more than 100 attendees.
- Pulling Together for Peace and Solutions 2017: Building on the Pulling Together for Peace Award Ceremony, Pulling Together for Peace and Solutions 2017 was developed to focus on creating lasting change in the 53206 Zip code. The 53206 DFC and partners organized a day of resource sharing and brainstorming solutions relating to residents’ concerns with housing, employment, health, and safety. Fox 6 covered this neighborhood event.
- Light & Unite Red: This annual county-wide initiative is held during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. 53206 DFC provides information on its social media and supports its Milwaukee County partners’ events.
- “A Drug-Free Me” Pledge: The 53206 DFC encouraged every student at Auer Avenue Community School to take the “A Drug-Free Me” Pledge and make commitments to live a drug-free life, as well as spread the message to their peers and their community about why it is important. We also sponsored a poster contest for Auer Avenue students.
Resources & Contact
Want to learn more about the 53206 Drug-Free Communities Project?
MCSAP addresses policies, practices and programs in our two current priority areas: marijuana use among youth and fatal drug overdose, with a particular emphasis on prescription drugs.Learn More