Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $327,825)
Youth gangs continue to have a significant adverse impact on youth, families, and communities across America. A growing number of communities have adopted OJJDPs Comprehensive Gang Model, a multistrategy, multidisciplinary approach that has proven to be effective in reducing gang activity. The fiscal year 2016 Comprehensive Antigang Strategies and Programs solicitation provides funding for localities to enhance coordination of federal, state, and local resources in support of community partnerships implementing the following antigang programs: primary prevention, secondary prevention, gang intervention, and targeted gang enforcement.
The city of Fort Pierce, Fort Pierce Police Department, Roundtable of St. Lucie County, Department of Juvenile Justice, and St. Lucie County School Board, in collaboration with other organizations, developed Restoring the Village Youth Initiative (RTVYI), a youth gang violence prevention, intervention, and suppression initiative based on OJJDPs Comprehensive Gang Model to address high rates of gang violence,. More than 20 community partners, including municipalities, law enforcement, health, employment, and social service providers, have signed on to support implementation of the program.
RTVYI began serving clients in September 2015 and currently engages a full-time program coordinator, three full-time outreach workers, and an intervention team of 13 multidisciplinary agencies. It serves approximately 40 gang members ages 16 to 24 in the Lincoln Park area. To date, 20 gang members who were either not attending school at all or were unemployed when recruited to the program have either resumed attending school, enrolled in GED classes, enrolled in job training with Career Source, and/or have started jobs through the program. Over the next 2 years, RTVYI will continue to implement the core strategies of the CGMprovision of opportunities, social intervention, suppression, community mobilization, and organizational changeand expects to reduce gang violence significantly, restore community trust in law enforcement, and increase delivery of services and opportunities to gang-involved youth and their families.