One Voice Accomplishments
One Voice is the first coalition of its kind in the State of New Jersey, and has been nationally recognized by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III was asked by CADCA to speak at one of their national conferences about One Voice. Since its inception in 2013, membership of the faith leaders has increased by 79%. Warren County has started a One Voice coalition and is working with the Hunterdon One Voice to keep a consistent message in both counties.
Since our first summit in June of 2013, the One Voice membership has grown to over 80 faith members. One Voice topics have included prescription drug misuse, suicide prevention, harms of marijuana on our youth, safety in places of worship and the heroin epidemic.
In 2017, One Voice of Hunterdon, Inc. was incorporated into a 501 c3 with the intent to apply for grant funding to further the mission.
In 2018, One Voice of Hunterdon Inc. was awarded the federal Drug Free Communities grant to work on reducing underage drinking and opioid use among our teens in Hunterdon County.
Initiatives: Each year, One Voice focuses on a specific topic to be disseminated by all faith leaders on the same weekend in the month of October.
Dangers of Marijuana
Summits: Prior to the launch of the October initiatives, a Summit is held to introduce the topic and provide resources and support for how the information can be disseminated by the faith leaders. These events are attended not just by the faith community, but also by legislators, local government officials, law enforcement, prevention professionals and school personnel.
Attorney General Involvement: Because of the partnership with the Hunterdon County Prosecutor, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has become aware of One Voice and has been so impressed that they are trying to replicate this throughout the State of New Jersey. In December, there were several events held statewide on law enforcement use-of-force. These events were presented to both law enforcement and the faith community.
Several One Voice members are participating in the Crisis On Call program started by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office. Faith leaders are available “on call” in the case of an emergency to help provide spiritual and emotional support for those involved.
In April 2016, One Voice members were invited to attend a series of training classes for Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Certification. Topics included Introduction to Disaster and Trauma Counseling: Basic Training for Disaster Response Counselors, Key Concepts in Psychological First Aid, Ethical Issues in Crisis Response, Cross Cultural Issues in Disaster Response and Recovery, and Providing Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster. Prosecutor Kearns spoke about One Voice at this event.
One Voice members attended the Annual Police Chaplains’ Conference, sponsored by the Office of the Attorney General, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Chaplains Program. The conference was held at the War Memorial in Trenton on June 14, 2016.
Our faith leaders were also invited to attend the Police Chaplain Basic Training Program, intended for law enforcement and first responder chaplains. This 2-day training is being held on August 29 – 30 in Phillipsburg.