THE City of Surrey has secured over $110,000 in grant funding for Blueprint Pathways and Outdoor Connection, two new youth crime prevention programs aimed at keeping at-risk youth positively engaged with their peers and community.
“The two new programs will reach the youth where they are at and provide resources to help keep them constructively involved in the community,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “By engaging youth through education, consultation and participation in the decision-making process, we are carving a future free from the impact of gang and other criminal activities.”
The city received nearly $73,000 from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General through the Government of Canada’s Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund for the Blueprint Pathways pilot initiative. It will connect 30 high-risk Surrey youth ages 13 to 19 with an outreach worker who—working closely with Surrey Schools—will provide intensive before, during, after and out-of-school support.
The program, launching at the start of the 2021/2022 school year, will include one-on-one mentorship, community resource referrals, and transportation to support services. The initiative will expand the reach of the Surrey Wraparound Program (WRAP), a longstanding youth gang prevention partnership between Surrey Schools, Surrey RCMP and City of Surrey.
A Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation grant for almost $38,000 from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will fund the Outdoor Connection program bridging at-risk Surrey youth ages 12 to 18 to positive recreation activities, leadership opportunities and community resources.
Beginning in July, the program will run for 13 weeks offering outdoor youth drop-in activities in Guildford, Fraser Heights, Fleetwood, South Surrey, Cloverdale, Clayton Heights, North Surrey and Newton. The program, which will support a healthy transition back to City of Surrey indoor recreation centres this fall, aims to serve over 100 youth.
Both initiatives will complement other city-led youth crime prevention programming including the five-year Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment (SAFE) program which launched January 2019, and a peer mentorship program which piloted virtually this past spring and will shift to in-person programming this fall.