$316K Federal Funding Supports Victims of Gang Violence in Mercer

Nonprofit PEI Kids Receives $316K in Federal Funding to Support Youth Victims of Gang Violence in Greater Trenton
TRENTON, N.J. - Oct. 2, 2019 - PRLog -- Today, PEI Kids announced that it is the recipient of a three-year grant award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) to support youth victims of gang violence in the greater Trenton area.  According to the funding announcement, this federal initiative seeks to support jurisdictions with high levels of gang violence that could demonstrate a willingness and readiness to develop community- and data-driven responses to youth and their families who are victims of gang-related crime and violence.

PEI Kids will be the lead agency for the collaborative project, called The Greater Trenton Outreach to Support Youth Victims of Gang Violence.  The project will be based on a multidisciplinary team (MDT) response model and will incorporate several of Mercer County's youth-serving organizations, the Mercer County Gang Prevention & Intervention Task Force, and the Mercer County Department of Human Services.

According to PEI Kids' Executive Director, Roz Dashiell, "We are honored to work as the lead agency of this community-based collaborative to increase the availability of direct support services for victims of gang-related violence and to develop and enhance the responses to youth exposed to this violence in their homes, schools, and communities."

The project will be spearheaded under the Mercer County Gang Prevention & Intervention Task Force which is chaired by PEI Kids' Program Coordinator, Rob Fiorello, who also runs PEI Kids' programs for adjudicated youth and youth at-risk of justice-system involvement. "This is a clear victory for youth in our community who are disproportionately impacted by this kind of violence," explained Fiorello. "I look forward to working closely with our project partners to create a meaningful network of support that meets the specialized needs of youth victims of gang violence in Trenton and in the surrounding area," Fiorello added.

PEI Kids plans to have the project operational by January 2020. Over the next three months, PEI Kids will conduct planning meetings, hire project staff, and contract with other community-based providers who can provide specialized services for youth victims of gang violence – many of which were involved in the project's initial development. Organizations committed to the project include Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Mercer County Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, Capital County Children's Collaborative/Care Management Organization, Mercer County Sherriff's Office, Youth Advocate Programs and YWCA Princeton.

To learn more, please call 609-695-3739,  visit www.peikids.org or go to www.facebook.com/peikidsnj.

Media Contact
Janina Akins
Roslyn Dashiell
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