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H.O.P.E (Healthy Options for Prevention and Education), now Safe Communities Coalition     

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) was awarded a grant from the New Jersey Division of Addiction Services (DAS) to provide substance abuse prevention services in Somerset and Hunterdon counties to reduce the harmful consequences of alcohol and drug use among 18 to 25 year olds. Project H.O.P.E.  (Healthy Options for Prevention and Education) is a federally funded, Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) community implementation grant.

This award is timely as it occurs when an increasing number of young adults in our communities are involved in alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse including binge drinking, abuse of prescription drugs and other related high-risk behaviors.  The underlying causes of these behaviors may include social norms/acceptance,peer pressure, underlying depression, loss of a loved one, domestic violence/turmoil,traumatic events and the stress of balancing work, academic studies and family responsibilities within the context of a burgeoning economic recession.  Based on analysis of census data Project H.O.P.E is seeing significant increases in AOD abuse and related consequences within the 18-25 year old target population in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.  Simultaneously, enrollment at RVCC by the target population is increasing as well.

With RVCC serving as the central hub for so many young adults from our respective communities, we are united to provide a comprehensive and strategic response to the harmful effects of AOD use throughout both counties.our partners Somerset Treatment Services and Hunterdon Prevention Resources have provided plan to provide both on campus and in the community, AOD use and abuse prevention workshops, early identification and intervention services that teach coping skills, and referral for additional treatment.

Some of the Project's accomplishments are as follows:


  • Created "In A Split Second" a 13 minute documentary illustrating how lives change from a single poor choice
  • Initiated  BACCHUS chapter (Student club promoting safe/responsible lifestyles)
  • HIV Testing offered monthly
  • CORE Alcohol & Drug Survey that ran from Dec. 2009 - Jan. 2012
  • Implemented an online assessment eCHECKUPTOGO
  • Facilitated ReThinking Drinking in The College Experience classes
  • Lunch & Learn Workshops were offered on Drugs, Alcohol and Stress
  • DUI Simulator brought to campus twice
  • Social norm data given (Data revealed the majority of RVCC students are not abusing alcohol or drinking and driving.)
  • HOPE Project was instrumental in advocating for the development of two addictions courses within the Pre-Social Work program curriculum and for taking initial steps for RVCC to become an approved educational provider for CADC CEUs. 
  • HOPE Project was instrumental in developing a policy/procedure for RVCC counselors (not staff and faculty) on early identification and referral of students with substance abuse issues.
  • Promoted Private Property Ordinances in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.  Hunterdon went from 8% having them to 33%.
  • Facilitated and developed a workplace training curriculum addressing stress and anger as well as identification of AOD in the workplace.
  • Developed sample HR policies for non-punitive early identification of employees with AOD                                                                                                                                                             
  • Showed "In a Split Second" to over 3200 people at RVCC, high schools, law enforcement agencies, civic organizations.  Used to educate the community and as catalyst for capacity building for both the HOPE Project and Safe Communities Coalition.

About Us:

The Project

The Team


The Coalition




Fact Sheet 

How Can We Help You?

Main Location:

College Center - Room C-121


Ann Smolinsky  - Safe Communities Coalition

Email:  asmolins@raritanval.edu

Bruce Yellin  - Safe Communities Coalition

Email:  byellin@raritanval.edu

Telephone: 908.526.1200 x8607

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