Safety Village Launches Project Spark

Windsor's Safety Village is rolling out a new program to engage youth thanks to a grant from the province.

Project Spark will be funded as part of a Two-year grant of $69,000 from The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

The program is for kids aged 12 to 18 and will create four youth-led councils in four regions throughout the city.

That's according to Executive Director Melissa Lauzon, she says Project Spark will allow youth to come together and learn, then apply what they've learned in their community.

"Hear what they see, how crime in general is effecting them and then from there let them lead social media campaigns and kind of let them dictate where the program will go," says Lauzon.

She says the youth will be encouraged to work with other community groups already in place.

"A lot of the neighbourhood renewal programs have been doing that for quite a long time, we're looking to work closely with them, it could be mural projects, it could be neighbourhood clean-ups, and it really can go anywhere youth would like it to go."

A study by the United Way indicated Ford City, west-Windsor, Glengary to Marentette, and Forest Glade as the best areas to place councils, according to Lauzon.

"In 2012 there was a study that did identify those neighbourhoods as priority neighbourhoods. They looked at many different social factors, they looked at economic factors, it was quite a lengthy study so it's truly to build upon that existing data," she says.

Representatives from the city, Windsor Police Services, and several other community outreach programs were on hand for the opening event to field questions from the crowd at Devonshire Mall.

Visit www.thesafetyvillage.com for more information on how to enroll in the program.