Since its creation in 2003, Bridging Resources in Communities (BRIC), Inc. has been dedicated to providing health education and prevention focused resources primarily to Wards 7 and 8 DC residents to empower them with the information and actionable strategies to create healthier, drug-free communities thereby improving the safety and livability of these communities. BRIC, Inc. has successfully secured and managed numerous federal and local grants for itself and several of its community partners to help support their collective mission. We led the creation of and secured ten years of federal funding for the Ward 8 Drug-Fee Coalition in partnership with the Far SE Family Strengthening Collaborative.
From 2007 - 2011, BRIC was retained by the Dean of Community Outreach and Extension Services at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to do legislative research and related work to expand their current resources as the only totally urban land grant institution. We successfully included language in the 2008 Farm Bill removing outdated barriers to funding and providing new funding (creating a net increase in funding of close to $10 million a year); putting UDC on par with other 1862 land grant universities in the country. We also helped UDC establish an annual Farmers’ Market, July 2009 and provided direct support in launching the 2010 and 2011 markets (one on the main campus, Ward 3 DC and one in Kenilworth-Parkside, Ward 7 DC). We leveraged this experience to help the Suitland Technology Education, Engagement Resource (STEER) Center, Inc. secure a USDA grant and launch their own annual Farmers Market in Suitland, MD June 2013.
Currently, BRIC, Inc. operates the Wards 7 and 8 DC Prevention Center in direct partnership with the DC Department of Health Addiction Prevention Recovery Administration and the Ophelia Egypt Program Center, Planned Parenthood of Metro DC. Guided by the U.S. Department of Health’s evidence-based Strategic Prevention Framework public health model, the four DC Prevention Centers work together to provide a viable and sustainable citywide drug use prevention focused infrastructure. Focusing on youth ages 8 to 18 and their caregivers, we work through extensive neighborhood based and affinity group based prevention networks to empower youth and adult community leaders to not only learn about the harmful effects of various drugs and related emerging drug use trends but also to identify the specific local conditions and root causes fostering youth access to and use of various drugs and how to develop specific actionable strategies to address these local conditions and root causes.
Our Prevention Center staff supported by our trained youth and adult leaders distributes DC and Ward specific drug access and drug use data and related harmful drug effects information along with leading drug education capacity building trainings for youth programs, parent groups, senior groups, faith-based groups, civic associations, resident councils, workplace groups, etc. Key prevention network partners include: Our lead community partner -- The Ophelia Egypt Program Center of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington and their Youth Health Messengers, the East River Family Strengthening Collaborative and Far SE Family Strengthening Collaborative and their Parent Groups, the Ward 7 Safe and Drug-Free Coalition, the Ward 8 Drug-Free Coalition and the United Planning Organization‘s POWER youth program. Key network neighborhoods include: Congress Heights, Barry Farm, Bellevue-Washington Highlands-Parkland, Kenilworth-Parkside, Deanwood and Marshall Heights. Key public housing communities that we have trusted relationships with include: Kenilworth Courts, Langston Lane Apartments, Matthews Memorial Terrace, Woodland Terrace, Richardson Dwellings, and Lincoln Heights. We also work very closely with the ANCs, Civic Associations, Resident Councils and MPD 6th and 7th Districts and their PSAs that serve the neighborhoods represented by our eleven networks.
In 2012, we provided community education, community leadership development and community change/action planning services to approximately 5,000 youth and approximately 4,500 adults. Total Population Served in 2012 = Approximately 9,500 (6.5% of 145,000, total population Wards 7&8)