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  Free To Grow
  Mailman School
  of Public Health
  Columbia University
  722 West 168th Street,
  8th Floor
  New York, NY 10032

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NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
Research & Policy

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Website Links

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD's website furthers the agency's mission to provide a decent, safe, and sanitary home and suitable living environment for every American. It seeks to accomplish this by creating opportunities for home ownership; providing housing assistance for low-income persons; working to create, rehabilitate, and maintain the nation's affordable housing; enforcing the nation's fair housing laws; helping the homeless; spurring economic growth in distressed neighborhoods; and helping local communities meet their development needs. The website is divided into six sections: HUD News, Communities, Homes, Working with HUD, Resources, and Tools. The community section includes best practices and information about economic development, jobs, and job training.

United States Department of Justice (DOJ) - Safe Communities
Overall, the Department represents the citizens of the United States in enforcing the law in the public interest and plays a key role in protection against criminals; ensuring healthy competition of business; safeguarding the consumer; enforcing drug, immigration, and naturalization laws; and protecting citizens through effective law enforcement. Within the DOJ website is the Safe Communities section, which offers information about preventing gun violence, reducing drugs in the neighborhood, community policing, the Weed and Seed Program, gang violence, statistics, and much more.

United States Department of Labor (DOL)
The Department of Labor is charged with preparing the American workforce for new and better jobs, and ensuring the adequacy of America's workplaces. The DOL accomplishes this goal in a number of ways, and its website furthers its efforts. Of particular interest is the Workplace Substance Abuse section of the website. Within the Working Partners for an Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace, users will find a database of materials and success stories to help establish a workplace substance abuse program, a small-business workplace kit, facts, statistics, and resources. Working Partners also includes a Welfare and Workforce Development section that addresses substance abuse basics, hiring individuals in recovery, workforce development basics, welfare basics, policy issues, welfare-to-work grantees' learning lab, promising practices, calendar of events, publications, new initiatives, and resources and links.

University of Minnesota Alcohol Epidemiology Program (AEP)
AEP's mission is to conduct advanced research to discover effective community and policy interventions to reduce alcohol-related social and health problems. The Program's interest include adolescent drinking, community organizing efforts, community prevention trials, alcohol-involved traffic crashes, training alcohol outlet managers and servers, natural experiments with changes in state and local alcohol policies, and public opinion surveys. Specifically, this website has sections on alcohol control policies, giving the user facts and how-to sheets. In addition, there are model alcohol control ordinances, a list of research articles published, and other resource such as Alcohol Policies in the United States: Highlights from the 50 States and others.

Urban Health Initiative
The goal of this Robert Wood Johnson FoundationĖfunded project is to help five communitiesóBaltimore, Detroit, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, and Richmondówork smarter for kids thus improving the health and safety of young people across an entire city or metropolitan area. The Urban Health Initiative hopes to accomplish this through a concerted, collaborative effort to bring about region wide improvements in multiple measures of youth health and safety. The website provides information about the program; best practices in early childhood intervention, after-school programs, child abuse neglect and prevention, reading by third grade, substance abuse prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, and youth violence prevention; and access to the Initiative's content-based newsletters.

Zero to Three
Zero to Three is a leading resource on the first three years of life. It is a national nonprofit charitable organization whose aim is to strengthen and support families, practitioners, and communities to promote the healthy development of babies and toddlers. The website, which furthers this mission by offering news, resources, and publications, is divided into separate sections for parents and professionals. Included in these sections are topics such as training, online discussions, resources, publications, and links.

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copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.