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What is a coalition? 

A Coalition is a formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration between groups or sectors of a community. Each group retains its identity, but all agree to work together toward a common goal of building a safe, healthy, and drug free community.​

The Oak Harbor Youth Coalition serves the community of Oak Harbor, located on the north end of beautiful Whidbey Island, in Island County WA. Oak Harbor is a relatively small city, with approximately 39,000 residents in the "greater" Oak Harbor area (North Whidbey), 23,500 of whom live within city limits. Oak Harbor is also home to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, with approximately 50% of youth belonging to active-duty or retired military families.

Our focus is prevention, and we collaborate with schools, community members, students, and youth organization to identify local risk factors and replace them with protective factors wherever possible. We want to give the next generation the tools they need to make healthy choices and lead successful lives.


About cpwi

The Oak Harbor Youth Coalition was founded in 2011 as part of the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) launched by the Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery the same year. 


Guided by the Coalition Coordinator, OHYC relies on a dedicated group of volunteers work together to determine the function of the coalition, prioritize problems, goals and objectives, and to engage in the planning and implementation of the Coalition's Strategic Plan. 

CPWI is a community and school based model for delivering prevention programs and strategies to reduce underage misuse and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, tobacco, and other drugs. This model uses a data-informed, community-level decision making process to determine root social and emotional causes that predict problem behaviors 

CPWI focuses on: 

  • Building healthy and safe community environments

  • Expanding quality preventative services in clinical, community, and school settings

  • Empowering people to make healthy choices

  • Eliminating health disparities 

The CPWI model allows us to better target and leverage limited public resources, increasing our ability to gain the best possible outcomes for communities. This more collaborative approach provides the long term support needed for community change. 


OHYC is funded through two grants - the SAMHSA Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) and Dedicated Marijuana Funds (DMA). To maintain this funding, we must have or provide the following to our communities: 

  • Members who represent at least eight sectors of the community, such as youth serving organizations, law enforcement, parent, school, healthcare professionals, business, faith based organizations, and youth. 

  • One school based prevention education series for students in the middle or high school. 

  • One prevention group facilitated at the school. 

  • Identification and referral services at the middle/high school

  • At least one additional direct services prevention program. 

    • 60% of SABG programs must be Evidence-Based Practices ​

    • 85% of DMA programs must be Evidence-Based or Research Based Programs

  • At least one environmental strategy, such as policy development or activities to reduce access and availability of alcohol and marijuana. 

  • A public awareness campaign. 

  • Local decision-making by the coalition for assessment and strategic planning. 

  • Participation in local and state evaluation, such as the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. 


land acknowledgement 

We acknowledge that we live and work on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish people, past and present. This acknowledgment does not take the place of authentic relationships with indigenous communities, but serves as a first step in honoring the land we are on. 

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