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Without opportunities to see outside of the neighborhood, many youth believe there isn’t anything past the corner.  They come to believe that all there is to life is getting high, fighting, and ‘ kickin’ it’.  They need to have someone open the door and help them experience all that life can offer.  That exposure can be life changing.  There are many youth programs that help make this happen.
Life or death.  Freedom or jail.  These should be easy choices.  And they are for healthy, happy people.  Not so much for those caught in the circle of gang violence.  Help break the cycle.  Help youth find things to look forward to, reasons to want to change, a future that holds something for them.
Gang life is a dead end.  But there is a way out, and we’re here to help. Maybe you’re in a hang now, or are being pressured to join one.  Perhaps you’re worried about a friend or loved one going down the wrong path. Click here to find trained professionals who work with former gang members every day. It’s 100% confidential.  It will be the most important call you ever made.
You may think that once you’re in a gang, there’s no way out.  The thing is, people do manage to walk away. Their advice?  It’s often as simple as finding other things to do and other friends to hang out with.  Stop spending time with your gang buddies.  Stop acting like a gangster.  When they call, tell themn you’re busy or not interested. Will there be pressure?  Sure.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.  But you have to be strong.  The most important think former gang members say is to find others who really support you, respect you and believe in you. You also have to believe in yourself.
There’s always someone higher up in the gang that wants a slice of the profits…even if you did all the work and took all the chances. Making cash selling drugs is dangerous, violent and extremely risky.  When you’re arrested, the money you made and the drugs you were caught with are seized…so you end up with nothing.  But when you get out of jail, you will still be on the hook for the money or the drugs you lost.  The gang will expect you to pay it back.  And if you can’t pay…you will pay (possibly with your life). On the flip side, if someone owes you money and doesn’t have the cash…they can make the debt disappear by making you disappear! When you think about it, the numbers just don’t add up in your favor.
In a gang, loyalty doesn’t go both ways. They’re looking out for themselves.  If you get busted or in trouble, you’re on your own. You call that respect?  If you want to look out for number one, the best thing you can do is to walk away from gang life. What’s the greatest weapon a gang has? Before you know it, you’re forced to do things that go against everything you believe in.  You’re made to forget the lessons, values and morals you’ve been taught by your parents and loved ones.  You become a different person. You’re forced to steal, sell drugs and commit acts of violence against innocent people to earn the respect of gang members.
If you think the rules at home are tough, just wait till you see how strict gangs are.  If you break their rules you don’t get your TV or video game privileges taken away.  You don’t get grounded.  The punishment is far, far worse: a severe beating, torture…or in some cases death.
Young people that are not confident in themselves are vulnerable and impressionable.  Involve them in sports and other activities that build their confidence and self esteem.  Help them be their own person and able to make their own choices.
Many young people rebel against family and parents.  The fighting causes the family to break apart.  People stop trying.  You’re not alone, most families go through it.  Don’t give up, there are solutions.  It’s never too late to get a little help and there is lots of it out there.
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We want to keep our children and families safe across the Tri-Counties. This website was designed as an easy-to-use place to:

  • Get information on gangs and gang culture,
  • Learn how to prevent involvement,
  • Learn how to determine if a child is involved in gangs, and to
  • Get help or get involved.

Let’s work together to End Gang Violence, build strong families and keep our communities safe!

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