Edmonton organizations collaborate on youth gang diversion

EDMONTON - WrapEd (Wrap = wraparound, Ed = Edmonton) is a collaboration between The Africa Centre, Edmonton John Howard Society, Edmonton Police Services, Native Counselling Services of Alberta and YOUCAN. This project is funded through the Government of Canada's National Crime Prevention Strategy and will use the collective expertise of core and supporting organizations in the city to tackle the complexities of youth gangs. REACH Edmonton brought these diverse organizations together to collaborate, rather than each group submitting a proposal in competition with one another. This innovative approach built invaluable partnerships and collaborative relationships between various local groups with common goals and resulted in the federal funding of this program coming to Edmonton. Programming will zero in on vulnerable, multi-barriered youth with a focus on up to 180 young people, over five years, primarily from Aboriginal and refugee communities. Participants will be youth between the ages of 12 and 17 in Edmonton who are most at-risk of involvement with gangs. WrapEd began Oct. 1, 2013 and will run until 2018. At the end of the five-year period measurable results should include a reduction in youth gang criminal activities among participants, disengagement in gangs and increased cultural and community connection. For media enquiries please contact Marilyn Gray at (587) 991-3142.