Brian Aasebo, Surrey community safety program manager. (Photo: City of Surrey)

Surrey SAFE anti-gang family program seeing results

Its ultimate goal is to help 4,700 at-risk children by the end of its five-year funding cycle

The Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment Program (SAFE), funded by Public Safety Canada and run by the City of Surrey, aims as its name suggests to keep youths out of gangs while helping them build positive life skills.

Brian Aasebo, community safety manager for the City of Surrey, recently highlighted some of the program’s landmarks for council concerning how 10 partner agencies deliver 11 programs through $7.5 million of federal funding.

“We know that youth who have been victimized are particularly vulnerable for gangs because they are seeking acceptance, belonging and safety,” Aasebo said. “When such youth start carrying weapons their risk for violence increases. We believe that providing the appropriate support for youth who experience victimization prevents negative behaviours and criminal affiliation.”

Aasebo said that from January 2019 to March 2020, SAFE has helped 1,515 Surrey residents, including 1,292 children. Its ultimate goal is to help 4,700 at-risk children by the end of its five-year funding cycle.

“SAFE is focusing on prevention and early intervention to give Surrey youth a brighter future,” he said. “Based on our data, we know that we are already reaching our intended audience and enhancing the connection between at-risk youth, and their families, schools and communities.”

READ ALSO: Surrey Mounties’ FYRST program helps kids at risk of crime, gang involvement

Its programs include the High Risk Your Justice Program, Youth Hub for Co-operative Enterprise, Children and Youth at Risk Table, SAFE Community Clinical Counselling, Caregiver education Clinical Counselling, Female Youth Gang Intervention Program, Family and Youth Support Team (FYRST), Peer Leadership Program, South Asian Family Strengthening Team, and Intercultural Family Intervention.

Collectively they address gang involvement, homelessness, poverty and mental health.

The Children and Youth At-Risk Table, an initiative to support children before they show negative behaviour or get involved with crimes, by the end of March 2020 was involved in 47 meetings and took on 180 cases involving six to 19-year olds.

The average clients are 14-year-old boys, making for 64 per cent of all cases. Referrals come from all Surrey neighbourhoods with the most from Newton (63 cases), followed by Guildford (46), Whalley (29), Fleetwood (25), Cloverdale (17), South Surrey (16), and two from parts unknown.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum called it a “tremendous” program with “tremendous results. We can see that in the community.”

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

B.C. gang problemSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey-born Trybe social media app’s award system connects with Nickelback singer

‘It’s turned into so much more than we originally conceived,’ says co-founder of the new platform

Drifting sailboat runs aground on White Rock beach

Vessel dragged anchor in high wind, no environmental damage sustained

Peace Portal Seniors Village staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Staff member currently in isolation at home, enhanced control measures in place

B.C. food awards for Surrey-made honey, chips and ‘plant-based comfort food’

Online celebration for KB Honey, Hardbite Chips and Connie Marples’ Boosh Food, among others

Sullivan Heights, Tamanawis each report second COVID-19 exposures

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read