Two groups in the Cariboo Chilcotin are receiving funds for programs that aim to keep kids out of gangs.
The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced today (Tuesday, April 23) that six programs to assist communities to prevent, disrupt, and combat gun and gang violence will receive sustained funding through the Gun and Gang Violence Fund from Public Safety Canada.
“We’re really excited to actually begin the Future Forward program, and the $200,000 is a great start,” said Vanessa Riplinger executive director of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Centre that is receiving $207,795.
“That will be going on for three years so we’re going to be breaking it down like that….Some of the things that we’re going to be doing in the Future Forward is working with high-risk kids about 20 hours per week, and we’re going to be doing some skill building, we’re going to be offering programs like ready to rent (another employment readiness program), we’re hoping to and we will be having work experience for our youth and they will be supervised.”
“The whole thing around this program is to really increase pro-social connections with the community, give some goals around work, and we’re going to have other community partners really involved in this like the Boys and Girls Club and Denisiqi.”
Riplinger said the Child Development Centre is currently in the hiring process for the program and hope to have it up and running in the next couple of months.
Also receiving funding is the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre.
They’ve been awarded $173,361 for their Youth and Family Navigator Program.
“Prevention and intervention at the community level are important parts of combating the gun and gang violence that we’ve seen across our province,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“Working with our federal, municipal and community partners, we can strike at the root of the problem in our neighborhoods to ensure our youth are resilient to the lure of gangs and gang violence, helping them make positive life choices while laying the groundwork for a safer, more positive future for all citizens in B.C.”
(Editor’s Note: Listen to executive director of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Vanessa Riplinger talk about the Future Forward program in the audio file below)