Safe Climate Coalition Announces Rebrand

scc2befree logo



Howey-in-the-Hills, FL, October 9, 2014For Immediate Release – For ten years, the Safe Climate Coalition has been working hand-in-hand with local agencies and non-profit organizations to develop and implement strategies to create safer schools through the prevention of substance abuse and violence.

After a decade of success with measurable results, the Safe Climate Coalition felt it was time to widen the focus beyond safe schools and reach out to our local communities, where an even greater impact can be made through education and advocacy of healthy living. The goal remains the same: teaching Lake County youth how to make healthier choices and create safer environments both at home and in their community.

Who is Be Free Lake?

1. We focus on reducing and preventing substance abuse and violence among our youth. Strategies include trainings for law enforcement and other public leaders and presentations at community events.

2. We develop the Lake County Community Resource Guide, a comprehensive guide to available agencies and program resources. Help is available for most situations; food, shelter, communication, transportation. The up-to-date guide, along with the Connection Helpline, closes the gap in finding solutions.

3. We use evidence based programs and projects to help empower individuals and systems to meet life’s challenges with healthy choices and positive behavior.

4. We encourage all service providers in Lake County to use only evidence based programs and projects that reduce the risk factors and increase the protective factors of our Lake County youth.

5. The Quality of Life, a community needs assessment report, shows trends in key areas affecting Lake County youth; underage drinking, drop-out rates, drug use, teen pregnancy, homelessness, etc. Published by Be Free Lake every year, the data shows positive and negative trends over the last 5-7 years through a collaboration of data supplied by local agencies. Numbers don’t lie! These trends set the agendas for local government priorities.

6. Be Free Lake advocates the “Be the Wall” program to empower parents to address the topic of drugs and alcohol with their children early and often while being a good role model for non-destructive behavior.

7. Young people with alcohol or drug addicted parents are four times more likely to become addicted if they choose to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. We work with Lake County Schools to reach children before they take that first drink and stop the cycle.

8. An ongoing resource for social challenges affecting Lake County.

Be Free Lake knows that a strong community has parents who are active and involved in their children’s lives. They may have outgrown some things, but they haven’t outgrown you. When you talk to your children about drugs and alcohol, be clear, be firm, be consistent. Be the wall, because they need you now more than ever.

Join the Revolution…Be Free Lake! We invite you to explore our website at www.befreelake.org. For more information or to get involved, contact Debi MacIntyre at debi@befreelake.org.

History of SCC


Safe Climate Coalition of Lake County, Inc.


Be Free Lake (formerly The Safe Climate Coalition of Lake County, Inc.) is a community coalition that focuses on youth substance abuse and violence prevention– a proactive process which empowers individuals and systems to meet the challenges of life events and transitions by creating and reinforcing conditions that promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

Be Free Lake has addressed youth violence problems within Lake County since 1995. Originally, a concerned Lake County School Board Member joined with community members to organize what was then called the Safe Schools Committee in response to a local tragedy – a middle school shooting. In its early development, the coalition focused primarily on youth violence and delinquency with a smaller emphasis on substance use. In May of 2003, the Safe Schools Committee officially organized into the Safe Climate Coalition, a non-profit, was recognized as an initiative of the Lake County Shared Service Network (LCSSN), and shifted its focus to include reducing and preventing underage drinking and substance use. In 2013, the board of directors changed the coalition's name to Be Free Lake.

The primary purpose of this coalition is to make community-level changes by working collaboratively to analyze the substance abuse problems in the community, assess the resources and gaps, create a prevention plan, implement a variety of activities and strategies in every sector of the community, and evaluate the results of our efforts.

 Today the coalition is a data-driven, highly active organization focused on implementing environmental strategies to impact the Lake County community, and reduce and prevent substance abuse and violence among our youth.

About Us


Be Free Lake on FOCUS Radio


Be Free Lake on LSTV


Mission: To collaborate with community stakeholders to focus on youth substance abuse and violence reduction and prevention while maximizing resources and providing opportunities for health and wellness in order for children and families to be self-sufficient, productive contributors in Lake County and society.

Vision: Creating a community focused on educating and advocating health and wellness.


How You Can Be Involved . . .

County Agencies & Non Profits

  • We invite you to explore our website and contact us.
  • We look to partner with those invested in keeping our youth on a positive track in life.


  • Our Volunteers are the backbone of our outreach.
  • Each person who has given of their time and talents has helped the county show strides in our efforts to keep our youth safe.
  • From Sticker Shock to SADD chapters in our schools, we continually need Volunteers to reach our students.
  • Work groups guide our projects by research and hands-on application. Each completed project successfully initiates evaluation and feedback.


We greatly appreciate your tax dedictible donations which enable us to continue and expand our work for Lake County.


Contact Us: Be Free Lake, Inc.

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 64

Yalaha, FL 34797

Physical Address:

(Saint Philip Lutheran Church)
1050 Boyd  Drive
Mount Dora, FL 32757

Phone: 352-383-2099