West Spokane Wellness Partnership

The West Central Community Prevention and Wellness Coalition is in its fifth year of service to the northwest Spokane area. The boundaries of this community are Wellesley Avenue on the north, Division Street on the east, and the Spokane River on the south and west sides. The coalition works in partnership with local schools, community organizations, law enforcement, and businesses to create a protective network of prevention services for youth and families.

 The West Central Community was chosen because of its long-standing history as a community with multiple serious risk factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. This is a low-income neighborhood with older buildings and infrastructure; limited recreational opportunities; a high concentration of retail outlets that specialize in alcohol, tobacco, and fast food; only two stores that stock a full line of grocery items and healthy food (and they are on the far north edge of the community); high levels of unemployment and community violence; and a highly visible presence of drug and gang activity. Fifty percent of the housing is rental housing offered at lower cost than other housing available in Spokane, but also not kept up as well as other rental housing in Spokane. Because of its affordability, it attracts a disproportionate number of racial/ethnic minorities who are also struggling with a lack of resources for their families.

 This Strategic Plan continues the work of the coalition based on the updated assessment of the needs of the community and ongoing development of partnerships to implement new prevention strategies. For the 2017-2018 program year, the Coalition will focus its initiatives on the following:
• Engaging community members and organizing community prevention activities
• Reducing availability and promotion of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana to underage youth
• Policy work to support enforcement efforts
• Reducing favorable attitudes among youth and adults toward substance use
• Encouraging parents to talk to their kids and to set clear standards and family guidelines around substance use
• Increasing the perception of harm related to all kinds of substance use
• Encouraging youth to commit themselves to school and provide prosocial opportunities