Prevention Coalition


Our mission is to work strategically with existing organizations and service providers to strengthen the ability of our youth to resist using illegal substances and to prevent underage drinking.

South Philadelphia is home to one of Philadelphia’s largest and most diverse youth populations. The public schools in the South Philadelphia neighborhood have historically had among the highest truancy and dropout rates in the city. These challenges in an under-resourced community have led many youth in South Philadelphia to substance use as a coping mechanism to deal with their stressors. The initiative to increase community health and revitalize the neighborhoods of South Philadelphia is led by a local group of stakeholders who comprise The South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition.

Coalition History

The South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition (SPPC) was formed in 2011 as one of five coalitions comprising The Philadelphia Coalition Academy (PCA). The PCA’s coalitions are supported by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services’ Office of Addiction Services. These collective coalitions work to acknowledge and discuss the impact and access of substances that have plagued their respective communities and the City of Philadelphia as a whole. The SPPC was developed by Southeast Philadelphia Collaborative (SEPC) and the South Philadelphia School Safety Task Force and is currently coordinated by SEPC staff.

As these efforts continued, the South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition became a group with strong partnerships in the South Philadelphia community. Membership consists of a diverse group of people and organizations working in fields that are inherently invested in youth substance abuse prevention. These include healthcare, law enforcement, youth programs, and representatives from school, youth, and parent communities. Many members have both personal and professional interests in creating a healthy, safe, and substance-free South Philadelphia.

Goals of the South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition:

  • Increase the number of coalition partners
  • Plan monthly street clean-ups hosted by youth and adults
  • Regularly survey youth and adults about substance abuse and access in South Philadelphia
  • Share community factsheets about neighborhood substance use and access.
  • Support a clear disciplinary protocol for substance use offenses in schools
  • Collaborate with school police to train officers on prevention and treatment options in South Philadelphia
  • Encourage a more extensive health education opportunities in schools and the community