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Enhancing Community Connections



The Enhancing Community Connections Project is a collaborative community-based effort, to reduce the risk of substance abuse and HIV among Black / African American youth and young adults ages 13-24 in Louisville, Kentucky. The project implements a combination of evidence-based community level (environmental) and individual level preventive interventions including the evidence-based (NREPP-listed) Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) Curriculum. We expect to provide individual level programming to up to 450 participants across five years.

The Louisville area has experienced recent upsurges in IV drug use involving both heroin and Opana and in both HIV and hepatitis infection rates, and African American minority youth and young adult populations experience extensive disparities that impact substance use and HIV. These disparities apply at the individual level and in predominantly Black/African American neighborhoods within the metro area. The proposed project is informed by an ongoing needs assessment that has previously identified this population as experiencing significant issues including substance use and HIV related health disparities.

Goal 1 is to increase local capacity to plan, coordinate and provide evidence-based substance abuse, HIV and viral hepatitis outreach and prevention services through interagency planning, coordination, and implementation of community-level evidence-based services and strategies for 13-24 year old Black/African American youth and young adults.

Goal 2 is to increase, at the individual level, the ability of 13-17 year old Black/African American youth specifically identified and referred by PAG member agencies to make healthy decisions regarding substance abuse and healthy sexual behavior by implementing the evidence-based (NREPP-listed) curriculum, Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC).

The goals and objectives directly align with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy which includes: 1) reducing new HIV infections, 2) increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, 3) reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities, and 4) achieving a coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic.

COPES, Inc., the lead agency, has a long history of successful program development in substance abuse HIV and Viral Hepatitis prevention and in conducting related CSAP Minority AIDS Initiative projects. The Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) program was developed by the applicant agency, COPES, and is listed in SAMHSA’s prestigious National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and several other national and international best-practice repositories. Further, COPES has received the NASADAD, NPN and CSAP Exemplary Program Award an unprecedented four times.



Funding for this project was provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Grant #: SP021309.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.