About South Mountain W.O.R.K.S.

History of coalition

In 2008, a group of concerned members in South Mountain came together to discuss the pervasive issues of youth substance use in the community. Story after story was heard about the shocking impact on youth trajectories and the devastation to families. Stories of how substance use almost felt like an expected, everyday part of life in the community. With 1 in 3 South Mountain youth indicating underage drinking on the 2008 Arizona Youth Survey and 1 in 5 indicating drug use at the time, we recognized the urgency to act. Community leaders, including those who had been hit hard by the impact of youth substance use, began discussing ways to change the norm that South Mountain was simply just “a culture of substance use.” The faith-based community, representatives from the Roosevelt School District, law enforcement and other community members all banded together to form the SMWORKS Coalition (South Mountain Working to build Opportunities, Resources, Knowledge and Skills). What started as only a handful of members has grown into a small, but mighty 147 plus member coalition over the past ten years.

Coalition Structure

Vice Chairs

William Beverly and Berisha Black

Coalition Subcommittees

  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Policy and Sustainability
  • Community Events and Activities

Community Summary

The South Mountain community boundaries include zip codes 85040, 85041 and 85042. South Mountain Village has a diverse population. South Mountain is comprised of people and cultures from various ethnic backgrounds, ages and genders.

Community members and city officials have identified three target areas in which to focus resources: Hermosa Park, Lindo Park, South Vista Neighborhood.

Coalition activities

Community Education

Presentations, workshops and seminars regarding underage drinking and drug use (i.e. social access, perception of harm, consequences, prevention and treatment resources) offered to the community free of charge.

Public Information and Social Marketing (PISM)

Alcohol and drug related information, resources and media materials disseminated to the community through health fairs, electronic and print media, and public service announcements.

Youth Leadership/Council

Youth in South Mountain participate in workshops and meetings designed to empower youth with skills to become leaders and role models in their communities. Youth participate in community service events, learn to develop events and campaigns, and provide presentations to their peers helping prevent underage drinking and drug use.

Community Development

The establishment and maintenance of collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders through the SM W.O.R.K.S Coalition fostering environmental change to reduce underage alcohol and drug use in South Mountain.