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Santa Rosa wins $500,000 grant for anti-gang efforts

Santa Rosa has won a two-year $500,000 state grant to help expand its efforts to keep kids out of gangs.

It's the second time the city has been awarded a California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Grant, known as CalGRIP.

"This grant provides us an opportunity to build on our existing partnership with our service providers to reach more youth in more neighborhoods and schools," Mayor Ernesto Olivares said in a release. "Partnerships like this are key to any successful youth violence and gang reduction community plan."

The last time the city won the grant was in 2010, when it received $315,000. This time around, the city was one of 19 cities splitting $8.2 million. Los Angeles received a separate $1 million for its gang prevention efforts.

The grant will support a county-wide approach to combating gangs, allowing the city to expand efforts beyond its borders.

The city plans to deepen partnerships with nonprofit groups to increase support and education for families, teach anger management and positive coping skills, and increase anti-gang programs in schools.

The grant will allow the Santa Rosa Police Department to provide its Gang Resistance Education and Training program to 550 fifth- and seventh-grade students in Santa Rosa City Schools, as well as Bellevue Union and Roseland school districts, which serve some students from areas not within city limits.

It will also provide anger management programs aimed at reducing aggressive behavior in high-risk young people. The California Youth Outreach will partner with the county probation department to offer the program to 65 youths from 18 to 24 years old.

The grant will also allow for the expansion of a program aimed at helping build healthy families. The Functional Family Therapy program run by Social Advocates for Youth will be offered to 60 families with children ages 10 to 18.

The grant, which encouraged applicants to show a regional approach to the problem, corresponds to a recent shift in focus on the Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force to emphasize regional efforts.


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