Agosto 1, 2019

Coalitions in Action— Galveston County Community Coalition Works to Overcome Community Struggles


The Galveston County Community Coalition was formed in 2004 under the umbrella of Bay Area Council on Drugs & Alcohol (BACODA). Located on the Gulf Coast in the southeastern part of Texas, 57% of the county is covered by water. The county is comprised of 12 cities, 7 unincorporated communities, several villages and other rural ‘census designated places.’ Founded in 1838, it is home to more than 95,000 households with 290,000 residents. Both ends of the economic spectrum are covered, with 13% of residents living below the poverty line. “Unfortunately, significant parts of our county were devastated by Hurricane Harvey two years ago,” said Director of Coalitions Carie D. Fletcher. “And then one year ago, Santa Fe High School had a mass shooting where ten people died. Recovery from both these events has understandably shifted the focus of our key community leaders. Remaining relevant during these times has been a challenge.” 

“Galveston County sits along the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Fletcher. “This location creates many benefits as well as challenges. The island has over six million annual visitors. Being a tourist destination requires our coalition to perform a balancing act. We are adamant about zero tolerance for underage drinking and we try to do this without alienating the collaborative partners from our tourism-focused business community. Additionally, with the ‘social norm’ of renting beach houses for celebrations/parties that has been happening for generations, we work diligently to bring awareness and education to the facts surrounding the illegality of social hosting along with the unintended consequences.”

“In January of this year we were selected by NIDA to host their signature National Drugs and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) event,” said Fletcher. “It was an interactive health and safety fair that over 300 students attended. We were honored to have been selected to host this inaugural event. In spite of the challenges that arose due to the shutdown of the federal government causing some of our partners to back out, we were able to replace them with local partners. The success of our coalition is based on the strength of our collaborations and partnerships.”

“For the past ten years we have actively participated in National Drugs and Alcohol Facts Week,” said Fletcher. “Each year, after the week was over, we would send photographs to NIDA to use on their site to promote NDAFW. We established a reputation with NIDA and used NIDA’s Toolkits and their available resources to promote NDAFW.” 

I strongly advise coalitions to use the wealth of resources that are readily available to them from CADCA and NIDA,” said Fletcher. “Take a quick look at the resource site, you can find facts that are super easy to add to articles. ‘Prevent Impaired Driving Toolkit’ is just one example. I posted it to my Galveston County Community Coalition Facebook page.” 

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