Services, offices expanding at SVPC

Seaway Valley Prevention Council has expanded into the Blevins Building at 206 Ford St. Christopher Lenney/The Journal

OGDENSBURG — The Seaway Valley Prevention Council’s home at the Blevins Office Building, 206 Ford St., Ogdensburg, has expanded and more could happen if their programs continue to grow.

Larry Calkins, director of the Seaway Valley Prevention Council, said that it had moved to its current location in 2010 from Potsdam, taking over the entire third floor of the office building to house its programs. The council is an Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services funded prevention provider.

Their programs are aimed at providing community education and prevention services in a variety of areas including substance use disorders, family and peer services, youth programming, tobacco control, professional development and problem solving awareness.

He said that when they first opened in Ogdensburg, they had started with about six programs, now they have almost a dozen with more possibly on the way.

“The last four years we’ve really expanded. We’ve got two more grants, federal grants, that if approved we can expand even further,” said Calkins.

The third floor was soon too small for their programs, according to Calkins, and they were able to expand to the apartment building next door at 202 Ford St. and create the Recovery Center that has a full kitchen to help build basic skills, computer labs so people could work on their GEDs or update resumes and offices for recovery coaches.

In order for that expansion to take place, four apartments were removed to make it happen and a door was put in to connect the two buildings, according to Calkins, who credits the Blevins Office Building owners with being able to expand the way they have.

“They’ve been extremely flexible with us and believe in what we do. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Blevins,” said Calkins.

The last project to take place was on the first floor at the Blevins Office Building. The L. Calkins Training Center, named by council staff in honor of Calkins, has central air and heating, a half kitchen and a large table that could seat between 35 to 40, or 12 to 15 under COVID-19 guidelines. Its a room that is meant to be for the public as well as a central training location for council staff, according to Calkins.

“It’s open to the community too,” said Calkins, adding that they can be contacted at 315-713-4861 if anyone is interested in using the room.

The council’s services provided are broken down into four categories — community, prevention, recovery and tobacco services.

Community services provided include Pivot Employee Assistance Services that focus on assisting companies support and retain their employees; the Massena Drug Free Community Coalition that addresses substance abuse in Massena and the surrounding area to create a drug free and violence free environment; You(th) Decide Underage Gambling Program designed to educate about the dangers of underage gambling; and Regional Addiction Resource Center which helps identify prevention resources, treatment opportunities and recovery services.

Prevention services include Teen Intervene that’s designed to help youth identify the reasons they chosen to use drugs and examine the effects on their lives; Incredible Years Program which is a parenting education program; and Drug Free Schools & Extended School Day that provides support and education to develop skills students need to make good decisions.

Recovery services include the Youth Clubhouse which offers support for young people who struggling with or at risk for substance use disorders; Family Support Navigator which helps families and individuals increase their understanding of the progression of addiction; and Peer Support Services works with hospitals and other community agencies to guide them to help find appropriate services.

And lastly, tobacco services include Reality Check, a teen-led, adult supported program aimed at exposing the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and a grant called Advancing Tobacco Free Communities that aims to reduce the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth.

For more information on the Seaway Valley Prevention Council call 315-713-4861 or check out their website at

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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