Youth outreach worker Deepak Purewal will work full-time in a new program at Abbotsford Community Services that is aimed at keeping South Asian female youth away from criminal activity and gangs. (Submitted photo)

New program aimed at keeping South Asian girls out of gangs

Abbotsford Community Services receives $75,000 grant

  • May. 17, 2018 7:33 a.m.

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

The initiative will help local South Asian females aged 12 to 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 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 the existing In It Together program at ACS, which works to interrupt the flow of young people into gangs.

The money will fund three staff members, including Purewal’s full-time position and a part-time curriculum developer.

A third 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, community 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.

ACS was 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.

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

Just Posted

Abbotsford man wins $1 million in Lotto 6/49 draw

Kenneth Giffen wins prize after deciding to stop in Agassiz gas station after fishing trip

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Missing Richmond man last seen in Chilliwack

Shawn Johnson last seen on June 30 on Main Street

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Eagle Landing

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read