Funds aim to combat gangs

Surrey gets $375,000 to target involvement in gangs, sex crimes and other violence.

The province is targeting gang life with an infusion of money to organizations that choke off the supply of new recruits.

Surrey-Panorama MLA Marvin Hunt announced Tuesday $375,000 in funding for community organizations working to keep vulnerable people from entering gangs and to protect others from violence.

The groups benefiting include:

· Kwantlen Park Secondary –  $11,440 for Challenge Day

· City of Surrey – $19,248 for Newton Youth on the Go!

· Surrey Board of Education – $20,000 for the REACH program

· Surrey School District – $100,000 for Surrey Gang Prevention Program

· Surrey Memorial Hospital – $15,000 for Forensic Evidence Collection

· Centre for Child Development of the Lower Mainland – $24,486 for Sophie’s Place Child Advocacy Centre

· Surrey Women’s Centre Society – $40,000 for SMART Women & Girls Safety Navigator

· Surrey Women’s Centre Society – $70,000 Surrey Domestic Violence Unit

· Surrey Women’s Centre Society – $75,000 Surrey Map Van

· Atira Women’s Resource Society – $20,000 Aboriginal Women’s Outreach Program

“All of these organizations do tremendous work to help protect children and vulnerable adults from violence and abuse,” said Hunt. “We owe all of the staff and volunteers a great deal of credit for making Surrey a better place to live.”

The funds are part of a nearly $7.2 million provincewide investment – the largest-ever one-time grants investment in community crime prevention in B.C. – combining $5.5 million in provincial Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) proceeds and $1.69 million from criminal forfeiture proceeds.

In all, more than 250 projects and programs throughout the province will receive a one-time grant. Nearly $2 million is dedicated to gang and youth crime prevention, and more than $3.5 million will go to community services that address violence against women and girls. The remainder will support training and education for frontline victims service workers, police training and special equipment, and restorative justice.

This year a new stream of civil forfeiture grants is dedicated to programs focused on sexual assault, including responses to sexual assault on post-secondary campuses.

To learn more about our government’s Vision for a Violence Free BC, visit: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/victimservices/shareddocs/pubs/violence-free-bc.pdf

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