Milwaukee-based Safe & Sound, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing drug use, crime and rebuilding neighborhoods, was recently recognized by the White House in President Obama’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy
Milwaukee-based Safe & Sound, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing drug use, crime and rebuilding neighborhoods by partnering with law enforcement, prosecutors, businesses and other organizations, was recently recognized by the White House in President Obama’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, a government-wide public health and safety approach to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States.
“We’re very excited about the honor,” said Barbara Notestein, executive director of Safe & Sound. “Milwuakee should be celebrating this achievement. So often we undervalue the positive things we have happening in this community.”
According to Notestein, the program is the only one of its kind in the country.
“No other entity is doing what we are doing and we’re looking forward to sharing our ideas to see if other communities can implement a program like this in their neighborhoods,” she said.
Notestein has been invited to the White House for a discussion session with other organizations named in the strategy. Notestein hopes to have the opportunity to talk with other individuals about how they can implement similar programs in their own neighborhoods.
“This program is a unique, effective, and shining example of how community efforts can reduce drug use and its consequences,” said Gil Kerlikowske, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy. “Safe and Sound is an example of a local community taking action and addressing this issue head on. Drug use and its consequences strain our economy, our health care and criminal justice systems, and harm the well-being of young people, service members, and America’s workforce.”
Safe and Sound organizes local residents and youth and connects them with law enforcement, youth-serving organizations, civic leaders, businesses and city services to identify and report criminal activity and prevent gang affiliation, crime and drug use in their community, said Notestein.
“Safe & Sound empowers both adults and youth residents, supporting them in creating strategies to reduce drug use and drug-related crime,” said Notestein. “In partnership with law enforcement, residents have the ability to stabilize their neighborhoods and rebuild them, making them safe places to live, work and raise a family.”
Safe & Sound offers after-school programs for youth operate during the hours when youth are most apt to either commit, or be victims of, crime.