In 2003, Bridging Resources In Communities (BRIC), Inc. was established to connect professional resources to improve communities and reduce the needs of children and their families in the District of Columbia. BRIC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the overall quality of life in communities most in need of a safe, healthy, drug and violence free, prevention-focused environment by restoring, strengthening and implementing community mobilization and project development. BRIC brings financial and human resources to facilitate and implement community mobilization. In 2005, BRIC was accepted as a U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Drug-Free Community Mentee. As part of our mentorship, we led the creation of the Ward 8 Drug-Free Coalition to mobilize parents, youth, businesses, media, law enforcement, youth-serving organizations, schools, faith-based organizations, civic organizations and local government agencies around youth substance use prevention and the related issues of youth development and family strengthening. As of October 2007, with BRIC serving as the fiscal agent, this Coalition was awarded the five-year ONDCP/SAMHSA Drug-Free Community grant. And as of October 2009, BRIC secured two additional funding sources for the Coalition – SAMHSA’s STOP Act Grant and DOJ’s EUDL Grant. As of May 2010, BRIC in partnership with the Ophelia Egypt Program Center, PPMW was selected to launch the Wards 7 and 8 Prevention Center: located in Ward 7 serving as a dynamic hub that engages, supports and connects organizations and individuals in a network of networks to foster a sustainable healthy alcohol and drug-free community.
As of October 2007, BRIC secured the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) Fatherhood Initiative five-year grant for Urban Family’s House of Hope in partnership with Matthews Memorial Baptist Church and East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership, the Opportunities Industrialization Center of DC (OIC/DC) and the Barry Farms Resident Council for them to implement a financial literacy and relationship development program targeting ex-offender fathers returning home to Ward 8. Also, in September 2006, 2007, and 2008, BRIC on behalf of Matthews Memorial Baptist Church and Urban Family’s House of Hope, secured public and private funding and provided on-site logistical support for an annual pre-teen/teen lock-in and community fair as part of a city-wide youth drug use and violence prevention blitz. As of October 2008, BRIC secured the DHS Family to Family Mentoring three-year grant for Urban Family’s House of Hope in partnership with Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, Temple of Praise Parenting Center, CHOICE, Inc. and the Barry Farms Resident Council for them to provide a holistic, family-centered mentoring program where one family will serve as a source of friendship, nurturing, positive support and guidance for another family that is low-income.
BRIC was retained in February 2007 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; 2011 launch was June 4th.
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