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The provincial government has granted us $75,000 to help South Asian female youth who are at high risk of becoming involved in criminal activity or those who are currently involved in youth crime or gang activity.

This initiative will help us to help local South Asian females aged 12 – 22 who are trafficking drugs or have friends, partners or family members involved in gangs. In addition to one-on-one case management, counselling and group work with the youth, the staff will reach out to family members with education and support services.

“Women face unique risks in gang involvement,” said Deepak Purewal, a youth outreach worker here at ACS. “They may end up being sexually exploited or targeted by rival gangs because of their relationship with a gang member.”

The Enhancing Crime Prevention with South Asian Youth project will run under our existing In It Together program, which works to interrupt the flow of young people into gangs. The money will fund three staff members including Deepak.

One staff member will work as a mentor facilitator to match at-risk youth with positive volunteer mentors. Previously, the In It Together staff did not have the resources to find, screen and train potential mentors.

“We are seeing more at-risk females than expected,” said Alison Gutrath, coordinator of In It Together. “We’re grateful for this funding to help us continue to address the issue of youth in gangs from all angles.”

Youth previously supported by outreach workers at In It Together have seen improvements such as increased legitimate employment, reduced family conflict and less contact and relationships with criminally involved peers.

In total, nearly $6.5 million in grants from civil and criminal forfeiture funding were awarded to programs that help women escaping violence and other crime prevention initiatives. We were also granted $19,987 for the Stop Exploiting Youth program and $11,805 for a Self-Discovery Support Group for South Asian Women experiencing domestic violence.

Women face unique risks in gang involvement.

Deepak Purewal

Youth Outreach Worker, Abbotsford Community Services

We are seeing more at-risk females than expected. We’re grateful for this funding to help us continue to address the issue of youth in gangs from all angles.

Alison Gutrath

Coordinator of In It Together Program, Abbotsford Community Services

The Enhancing Crime Prevention with South Asian Youth project will run under our existing In It Together program, which works to interrupt the flow of young people into gangs. The money will fund three staff members including Deepak.

One staff member will work as a mentor facilitator to match at-risk youth with positive volunteer mentors. Previously, the In It Together staff did not have the resources to find, screen and train potential mentors.

“We are seeing more at-risk females than expected,” said Alison Gutrath, coordinator of In It Together. “We’re grateful for this funding to help us continue to address the issue of youth in gangs from all angles.”

Youth previously supported by outreach workers at In It Together have seen improvements such as increased legitimate employment, reduced family conflict and less contact and relationships with criminally involved peers.

In total, nearly $6.5 million in grants from civil and criminal forfeiture funding were awarded to programs that help women escaping violence and other crime prevention initiatives. We were also granted $19,987 for the Stop Exploiting Youth program and $11,805 for a Self-Discovery Support Group for South Asian Women experiencing domestic violence.

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