For more than 40 years dedicated to building healthy families and communities
61 Spring Street
Newton, NJ 07860
(Fax) 973-383-6576

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Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities

Coalition Home

The Sussex County Coalition for Healthy and Safe Families was founded by concerned local citizens in 1998 to support healthy youth development and protect against problem behaviors in adolescence by reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors in children’s lives. Over its 12 years of existence, the Coalition has become a well-recognized resource for schools, parents, students, community members and the media looking for information and programs about alcohol and other drugs; including signs, symptoms, effects, and current local and national trends; youth violence; and prevention tools.

In 2012, the Center for Prevention and Counseling (CFPC) was awarded funds from the New Jersey Department of Human Services to develop regional, evidenced-based addiction and substance abuse prevention strategies that target at-risk groups of all ages. Through the work of the Coalition, CFPC formed a partnership with Family Guidance Center of Warren County (FGCWC) to serve the entire region. To reflect its new scope, the Coalition changed its name to the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities.

Our Mission

The mission of this two-county coalition is to create healthy and safe communities that are free from substance abuse, addiction and related issues among people of all ages throughout Sussex and Warren Counties.

Our Goals

The Regional Coalition seeks to do the following:

  • Create family and peer groups that are not supportive of underage drinking, abusive drinking, marijuana use, heroin use and abuse of prescription medications;
  • Increase the passage and enforcement of policies/laws that support non-use of alcohol by minors, responsible drinking by those over 21 and non-use of illegal substances;
  • Create work environments that support healthy lifestyle choices;
  • Implement changes within the region’s three hospital emergency rooms that empower healthcare workers to address substance use among their patients;
  • Enhance campus life at the region’s three colleges to focus on healthy lifestyle choices; and
  • Create opportunities for youth to become role models and leaders in their communities.

Establishing a foundation of membership in the Coalition that represents a cross-section of the community has been key to achieving its goals. Diverse leadership, representing different perspectives and expertise, is an essential component to the Coalition’s success. The Coalition’s membership also draws from the various community sectors; education, local government, law enforcement, juvenile justice, social services, health services, parent groups, students, religious and business leaders, and the media. Well attended monthly Steering Committee meetings afford members and guests the opportunity to:

  • Learn something new
  • Share information about projects or events
  • Discuss & develop solutions for community issues
  • Learn about committee work & progress
  • Connect with other community members
  • Request assistance/partners to address an issue

We would love for you to join other community members at our Coalition meetings, to help plan future activities and make sure that our services remain helpful to our communities. Monthly Coalition meetings are held at the Regional Coalition’s primary location, CFPC, 61 Spring Street, Newton, on the second Friday of each month at 9 am and at Warren County Department of Education office, 1501 Route 57, Washington, NJ 07882 on the fourth Monday each month at 3pm.

Please check out our Coalition Membership Application or contact the appropriate contact listed below to confirm your interest or request more information.

Coalition Contact Information:

For Sussex County or Regional Coalition, contact Annmarie Shafer at 973-383-4787 or email

For Warren County, contact Mary Jo Harris at 908-689-1000 or email You may also find more information on the Family Guidance Center of Warren County’s website:

New Jersey’s new Underage Drinking Prevention video – “Empowering Parents to Prevent Underage Drinking in New Jersey.”

Red Ribbon Day Performance

Meth Training

Signature Events and Activities

Every child deserves a safe place to grow. How can you help?

  • Join the Coalition
  • Attend community prevention events
  • Initiate “alcohol-free” events in your family
  • Initiate “alcohol-free” events in your community
  • Participate in National Alcohol Awareness Month each April
  • Participate in Red Ribbon Week each October 23-31 by wearing red ribbons
  • Don’t allow unsupervised parties in your home or on your property
  • Educate your children about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use
  • Don’t permit use by youth of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs
  • Don’t supply alcohol or tobacco to underage youth
  • Communicate with and welcome communication from other parents regarding your children’s activities
  • Arrange for a responsible adult to monitor your home when you are out of town
  • Encourage your children to use the Internet safely, and avoid sites that encourage drug use