VARSA - Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse
VARSA are working to reduce and prevent underage drug and alcohol use by engaging, educating and empowering all sectors of our community.
For more than seven years, VARSA has provided grant funding to impact underage drug and alcohol use on Vashon.
The Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse (VARSA) was formed in 2009 by a group of committed Islanders who came together to address the issue of underage drug and alcohol use on our Island.
With a federal grant from the Dug Free Communities (DFC) initiative and a state grant from the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) VARSA has been able to finance a number of different strategies including challenging social norms, environmental change, parent education, youth centered events, as well as supporting other organizations on the Island.
The volunteer organization is formed on a Coalition model which gives many sectors of the community an equal voice at the meetings. Administrative oversight is provided by a full time Coalition Coordinator and executive committee. As VARSA is not a 501(c)(3), the grant monies are managed and distributed by a fiscal agent, currently the Vashon Island School District (VISD.)
Funding for VARSA comes from Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and the King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division. The Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative grant brings support and funding to specifically address our youth substance use issues.