Reality Changers, a recipient of a Project Safe Neighborhoods grant. Courtesy Reality Changers

The local U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday that local non-profit organizations that seek to prevent crime will receive more than $265,000 in grants.

The organizations work to deter youths and adults reentering the community from engaging in crime.

Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing violent crime, awarded the funds.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the initial allocation is “the first in a series of awards” under the program for the Southern District of California.

Among the organizations receiving awards in this grant cycle:

  • The Boys and Girls Club of Oceanside, which will use the grant to bolster the Oceanside Youth Partnership program, to prevent gang involvement and juvenile arrests.
  • El Centro Police Athletic League, which provides recreation and education programs for youths ages 5 through 17.
  • The Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego, which will conduct research into Project Safe Neighborhoods programs.
  • Reality Changers, a San Diego nonprofit that provides youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with academic support, financial assistance and leadership training. The award will enhance the organization’s 8th grade College Town Program, which aims for students to become college-ready by 12th grade.
  • STAR Police Athletic League, a San Diego nonprofit that promotes youth safety through crime prevention education for underserved youth, and
  • Youth Empowerment, which provides services for youth and adults living in City Heights and Southeast San Diego, with a focus on mentorship to prevent recidivism.

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer emphasized the need for strategies that pair crime prevention with enforcement.

“These awardees are effectively reaching at-risk youth and reentering adults by building trusting relationships and showing the path toward a fulfilling life that does not involve gangs and criminal behavior,” he said. “The end result? Brighter futures and safer neighborhoods.”

– City News Service

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