City Council Regular Meeting
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New Business   Item #: D.
Gang Coordinator Grant Ordinance
The City has received an award from the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to fund the Gang Coordinator position and related expenditures for the Youth Engagement Programs (Project Imagine). The funding includes $123,908 of federal funds and $25,208 of local funds for a total of $149,116. The grant covers expenditures from January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
Project Imagine is a 9-week, work readiness program for ages 15 to 21 that provides at-risk and gang affiliated individuals employment, education and on the job training. The program is based on the evidence based theory of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in that if the youth can implement new information and standards, then they can change their behavior. The idea is that the program creates a positive "image" in the mind of the youth so that he or she can "Imagine" a life without gangs or crime. Participants receive hands on training at a work-site up to 40 hours per week through partnerships with city departments, non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses. The program also provides guidance for the youth and family with referrals to additional services such as education, housing, and mental health.
A full-time Program Coordinator is required to ensure the program is implemented properly. The Coordinator will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. The Coordinator ensures that key agencies maintain proper representation on the various groups required by the model, and that the team meets regularly. They also coordinate and monitor ongoing training and education on the project to community and civic groups, businesses, schools, and others.
The Program Coordinator will also be responsible for reaching out to gang members identified by the Danville Police Department's Violent Crime Gang Unit, and linking them to services and institutions, providing access to resources, reducing attachment of project youth to gangs and gang activities, and assisting in community mobilization in the target area.
It is recommended that City Council adopt the attached ordinance appropriating funds for this program.
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