The Vernon Coalition’s mission is to build and strengthen community collaboration in order to reduce youth substance use in the community.
We strive to keep our youth healthy and safe while encouraging positive, drug-free lifestyle.
The Vernon Coalition
The Vernon Coalition was established in 2010 when the community came together to combat the rising heroin epidemic. The Coalition was sustainable for 10 years with federal funding through the Drug-Free Communities Grant. Currently, the Coalition is being funded through generous community support from the Joseph P. Hession Foundation, Mountain Creek Resort, and the Vernon Township School District. The continuous community support allows the Coalition to strive to meet our mission to reduce youth substance use, provide resources to those struggling with addiction and help reduce the stigma around this public health issue in the Vernon community.
The Coalition works with grades 2-12 in direct programming, after-school clubs, and community events, as well as monthly meetings with Coalition members and quarterly meetings with stakeholders. Additionally, we hold weekly youth action group meetings with high school students and bi-monthly “Above the Influence” meetings with middle school students. Community engagement includes over 240 adults and 80 youth, and the Coalition continues to grow.
Opioid Task Force
The Coalition hosts quarterly stakeholder meetings to address the opioid epidemic in our own backyard. If you are interested in joining the stakeholder meetings.
After School Programs
We currently host after school, youth-led programs for grades 4-12. These programs give the youth an opportunity to make a positive difference in their community.
What we do
The Coalition uses a strategic plan (based on Sussex County data) to focus on reducing youth substance use. The plan addresses each of the five drug categories below:
Summer Youth Expansion Program
Serving students in grades 7-12. The summer program provides a positive space for students to learn leadership skills, how to use their voice to make change in their community, and how they can live a healthy, drug-free life. The program begins in June and end in the beginning of September. The program includes We’re Not Buying it 2.0, Leadership Conferences, Field trips and more.