For 27 years, Prevention Works has helped build a stronger community by providing prevention strategies and health education services to youth and families. Our programs are recognized for enhancing social emotional health, substance use prevention, violence prevention, parenting and family life skills. Prevention Works partners with schools, churches, youth agencies and neighborhood community centers to remove barriers for the participants we serve.
Along with the entire world, Prevention Works underwent a paradigm shift due to the global pandemic, immediately closing all programs and services. There was a service delivery crisis given our limited ability to connect with our community. As a result, Prevention Works had to reimage how to connect to the community with vital services.
Virtual program delivery required us to marry technology with tenacity, exploring new engagement strategies to connect to the ones who need our services the most. Operational priorities required staff to rely on upgraded technology. Prevention Works joined community collaborations to improve accessibility efforts for youth and family participants, alongside the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network and the Kalamazoo Public Library.
Despite the barriers, Prevention Works responded to the “call to action,” opened its doors, and created a Community Learning Hub. The Hub provided a safe and structured learning environment with accessible Wi-Fi, technology, tutoring, mental health services, school supplies, meals and staffing to supervise in person learning for Kalamazoo Public School students. Prevention Works provided wraparound support services, prevention programs and social emotional development for 12 male students and their families. All 12 completed their academic year and advanced to the next grade.
Due to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety experiencing an increase of youth crimes, Prevention Works partnered with Public Safety, the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Court, the Boys & Girls Clubs and Youth Opportunities Unlimited to offer comprehensive wraparound support for 15 of the most vulnerable, justice impacted youth (ages 14-18). Prevention Works was the host site for this summer program and also provided programming to support the youth.
For more information, visit www.prevention-works.org