Each quarter, Prevention Partnership will recognize a board member or staff member. This quarter, we recognize Larry Williams, chairperson of the board. Larry has been involved with Prevention Partnership since 1984. Read Prevention Partnership's interview with Larry, highlighting the progress he's witnessed within the organization as well as how Prevention Partnership is equipped to overcome the challenge's of 2020.
P2: With the stresses and challenges of the pandemic, what have been some challenges or obstacles facing Prevention Partnership that you’ve overcome or seen progress through?
LW: Most importantly, “pandemic fatigue” and dealing with mental health issues on the Westside of Chicago have been major obstacles facing Prevention Partnership. Due to limited funding, social and economic issues have disproportionally affected this community as well. We have made every attempt to use our resources in a prudent manner.
P2: Are there any upcoming or current projects/initiatives that you're most excited about?
LW: The continuation of the Heroin/Opioid Task Force, which is designed to deal with drug addiction head on. This is the only program in the United States that provides testing, consumption, treatment and intervention at one single location.
P2: Tell us how you got started with Prevention Partnership and why you felt compelled to be part of the organization.
LW: Drug addiction is a huge problem in Chicago. In addition, the community is disadvantaged in every way and marginalized. Seeing firsthand, the devastation and toll it takes on a community is humbling to say the least. I just wanted to do my part in trying to make the Austin community a better place to live.
P2: During your time at Prevention Partnership, name one or two highlights that have happened.
LW: Being in existence for over 20 years, strong support among elected officials and community engagement are some of our major accomplishments.
P2: Looking ahead, what are you most excited about for Prevention Partnership’s future?
LW: The future is bright for Prevention Partnership. We have good participation among the community stakeholders. My goal is to try to leave Prevention Partnership in a better place. I enjoy working with Al and his staff. They are all knowledgeable and committed to our mission by “working today to change tomorrow," striving to provide a “holistic” approach to improving the community at large.
P2: What's been the most rewarding aspect of your work with Prevention Partnership?
LW: There’s much work to be done. The pandemic, social unrest throughout the country, and a nation divided gives real meaning to our future. Prevention Partnership takes a “holistic” approach in dealing in dealing with the inner city drug use and/or alcohol problems in the suburbs. Assisting in moving the needle in the right direction is very rewarding.