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About Safe Communities

our mission, vision and areas of focus

Safe Communities of Madison and Dane County is an award-winning nonprofit coalition of over 350 organizations working together to save lives, prevent injury and make our community safer.Our funding comes from federal, local and foundation grants, project sponsorship, sustaining memberships and individual donors. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors, comprised of public and private sector partners.Our programs are coordinated by a small staff including an executive director, program managers, project coordinators and contractors who assist where funding allows. Projects are conducted thanks to efforts of partners who serve on task forces and program teams.


Each year since our inception in 1999, we’ve seen our circle of partners grow and collaboration among diverse organizations with a shared commitment to safety expand.Achievements we’ve made came about thanks to the active participation of Coalition partners and supporters for over two decades.

Cheryl Wittke

Executive Director


Safe Communities Staff & Program Managers


our history

Over 100 organizations collaborate for the City of Madison Safety and Injury Prevention Inventory Report. The recommendations of this report led to the formation of Safe Communities.
Nonprofit status granted to Safe Community Coalition of Madison & Dane County.
First Suicide Prevention Summit.
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training program launched.
“Man Therapy” program introduced to erase the stigma of therapy for at-risk middle-aged men.
Homegrown “Gun Shop Project” partnership with gun shop owners gets national attention as a forward-thinking program in suicide prevention.
Greater Madison Safe Community Coalition hires first employee, Cheryl Wittke to focus on traffic safety.

Clean Up the Wash traffic awareness campaign.
Launch of Falls Prevention program including “Safe Home Visits” campaign.
MedDrop program collaborates with area communities to reclaim unused or expired medicine begins.
Safe Communities adds a parent-led support organization for those with addicted loved ones called the Parent Addiction Network of Dane County.

“Only Leaves Should Fall” seminar highlights falls prevention initiatives.
Safe Communities Madison-Dane County is featured in a National Safety Council publication called A Coordinated Response to Stop the Drug Overdose Epidemic.
Recovery coaches guide people from addiction to treatment and recovery.


Treatment Key

Safe communities has complied a list of abbreviation definitions for finding the right treatment for you.

MAT: Medication for Addiction Treatment.
OP: Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends. individual and group therapy, these can include or not include MAT.
IOP: Intensive Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends individual and extended groups, 9-12 hours a week.
Residential: person lives at the facility for a period of at least 14 days, some last as many as 45 days.
PHP: Partial Hospitalization Program is a structured mental health treatment program that runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week.
DBT: Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates mindfulness techniques.