Big changes are coming to Levittown through the efforts of their very own Community Action Coalition. The Levittown Community Action Coalition (LCAC) is a prevention coalition with a mission to create a safe, healthy, and secure community where fewer lives are impacted by addiction. The organization recently revamped their website and refocused their programs to further their commitment to providing prevention education and awareness regarding substance misuse. To create greater impact and strengthen relationships within the Levittown community, LCAC also announced the hire of their new Project Coordinator, Hannah Moore.
Moore, a resident of Long Beach, is very excited to join the LCAC team. “We have a tremendous team here at LCAC and I look forward to continuing my work in public health by implementing prevention strategies at the community level,” she commented in a recent press release. “We’re making a great impact within the community by empowering our youth and other members of the public to be strong and visible leaders in prevention.”
Moore’s background in public health makes her a welcome addition to the organization, which previously specialized more so in social work and mental health counseling. “We are excited to bring Ms. Moore into the YES Community Counseling Center family, which currently includes Massapequa Takes Action Coalition (MTAC), Partnering in Action Change for Tomorrow (PACT), Levittown Community Action Coalition (LCAC) and YES. With her background in public health, she is a formidable asset and achiever and will continue to expand her presence within the Levittown community,” added Corinne Alba, LMHC, CPP, CASAC; Associate Director Community Outreach and Training, YES Community Counseling Center.
The LCAC’s mission statement describes them as “an organization comprised of community partnerships that all work together with the common goal to create a safe, healthy and secure community through the prevention of substance abuse.” Moore seconds this description, complimenting the group’s support from Levittown. “We are blessed with the partnerships that we have in this community. We work closely with the Levittown and Island Trees school districts.” She also notes that the partnership with the Levittown school district is what made the coalition possible in the first place.
In order to enact lasting change, substance misuse must be looked at from a spectrum perspective. As Moore explains, “We start with health promotion and [drug use] prevention.” That is where her role as Project Coordinator comes in. “We want to address the social, economic, educational, and health needs on a population level in order to prevent substance misuse, that’s really the aim of the coalition.” Then for members of the community who are already substance abusers, the organization switches gears to address intervention and recovery. “This is where our partnership at Yes Community Counseling Center is so beneficial.” But she says her primary goal is to stop substance abuse before it starts.
Their target demographic is youths ages 12-17, a particularly vulnerable age. Historically, substance abuse has operated around movements such as “Just Say No.” However, these movements have not recognized the dynamic and complicated nature of drug addiction. The LCAC is therefore aiming at a more nuanced approach. “We want to tackle this from all different standpoints.” Moore points out that the Covid-19 pandemic caused a surge in mental health crises which have contributed to higher reports of drug misuse. Furthermore, when the perception for young people is that drug use is high (in their schools, neighborhoods, communities, etc.), they are more likely to partake, whether or not it is true.
LCAC also wants to encourage parents to get involved in the discussion, and offers methods to open up a dialogue with their children or other young people. Moore notes that Levittown’s higher population of Hispanic residents has also opened the door to create programs in Spanish, with Hispanic leaders, to better communicate and represent such a present demographic in Levittown.
The website rebrand is maximizing the different ways it is possible to target substance misuse. “We tackle this from different angles; from policy change to education, parent engagement, even community engagement,” says Moore. “With this rebrand, we are hoping to provide more information on our website, on our social media, to pull people in and [help them] learn more. There is a knowledge gap, especially when it comes to opioids and fentanyl… What we’re trying to do now is make our resources accessible.” The ultimate goal is to get other community members involved, so it is not just a group of professionals sitting in the room. “We have parents, teachers, youth, religious organizations, business owners. Our goal with the rebrand is to get people involved in the community and learn what they can do.”
The organization has also created a new logo which embodies the spirit of the Levittown community; individuals and families coming together to support the mission of the local prevention coalition.
About Levittown Community Action Coalition:
Founded in 2015, LCAC is comprised of a dedicated group of individuals and organizations within the Levittown community including representatives from schools, youth, law enforcement, media, hospitals, libraries, substance abuse treatment agencies, civic groups, businesses, religious organizations, state and local agencies, and other organizations involved in substance abuse prevention. These stakeholders work together to reduce substance misuse through awareness, education, and empowerment within the community. LCAC’s vision is to support a community where residents feel safe, valued, connected and empowered to respond to life’s challenges without resorting to the misuse of alcohol, opiates or other substances. In pursuit of this goal, community outreach programs, early intervention, training and events provide residents with the necessary tools to reduce substance misuse and focus on healthy behaviors. For more information about LCAC, visit www.lcacoalition.org. For more information about YES Community Counseling Center, visit www.yesccc.org/.
—Original press release courtesy of LCAC