$2.7-million in funding aimed at preventing gun crime and gang violence in Windsor-Essex


The federal government has announced $2.7-million in funding aimed at preventing gun crime and gang violence in Windsor-Essex.

Windsor-Tecumseh Liberal MP Irek Kusmierczyk made the announcement Thursday in Windsor.

The investment will support community-led projects for young people involved in gangs or at risk of joining them, helping them set themselves up for success in life.

The money from Public Safety Canada's 'Building Safer Communities Fund' will support ongoing safety initiatives by community partners like New Beginnings and Youth Diversion, which will split $1.5-million from the $2.7-million announcement.

The funding will help the organizations expand their reach in the community to offer prevention and intervention services to children and youth, helping youth develop self-respect, responsibility and problem-solving skills in a positive way.

Windsor-Tecumseh Liberal MP Irek Kusmierczyk says to prevent gun and gang violence tomorrow, you have to do the work today with young people.

"To provide them with alternatives. To provide them with better options. To provide them with better paths. To provide them with the tools that they need to resist peer pressure, to overcome some of the challenges that they're facing, so they choose a better path forward in their careers and their lives," he says.

Kusmierczyk says this funding will help New Beginnings and Youth Division expand their programming to other communities across Essex County and to other age groups.

He says young people face a much different world and are exposed to more more pressures and images including social media.

"We just want to make sure, especially young people hat are at-risk that are vulnerable, make sure that they have the tools, make sure that they have the mentoring and networks in place to support them through these challenging times. To make sure to help them make better decisions, help them take that better path that will lead to better outcomes," he adds.

The City of Windsor will be issuing a call for proposals in the coming weeks for other organizations to access the remaining funding to work with at-risk youth.