1. Briefly describe the structure of the program.
In 1994, the city of Riverside in collaboration with the University of California undertook a project entitled a "Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression." In this project thirteen (13) public agencies and community organizations pulled together to attempt to identify a community-wide anti-gang strategy. This coalition applied for and received funding in 1995 from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Project YES(Youth + Education + Success) is a program which developed out of the OJJDP coalition. Project YES was designed to reduce youth violence in two particular areas of Riverside known for youth violence. Those are the Eastside and Arlanza areas of Riverside.
Project YESprovides a broad scope of innovative and synergistic services building on four (4) years of youth violence prevention experience of the Inland Agency People Reaching Out for Peace in the Eastside Program (PRO) and a second community-based organization (CBO), the Youth Service Center which specializes in outreach counseling and family therapy. Project YES combines these two (2) CBOís with the city-wide effort to reduce gang violence and forms a strong partnership with public agencies and institutes of higher learning. Each of the thirteen (13) partners has agreed to a clear, supportive and active role through operational agreement.
Project YESincludes three (3) components: 1) supported quality employment for fifty (50) youth ages 14-17 in a variety of career path settings; 2) formal and informal street-outreach counseling, supervision and monitoring; and, 3) access to educational, recreational and cultural diversity services designed for high-risk youth.
The Eastside is a high-crime and violence, low-income neighborhood. The highest rate of Part I crimes in the County occurs in the Eastside with 50% documented as gang related. The primary needs are for: 1) job training and employment for youth that models the value of education; 2) targeted and early intervention with younger siblings and associates of known gang members; 3) social skills training for youth in highest risk neighborhoods; and 4) recreational and cultural activities at high risk periods of the day and week. A fifth (5th) critically important need involves the imperative to forge a common mission between those public agencies charged with the duty to respond to violence and the diverse elements in the community who live with violence every day and who work to reduce it.
Project YES will place fifty (50) youth in quality jobs, 120 youth will receive outreach services, and 150 youth and/or family members will receive auxiliary services (many will receive multiple services.)
2. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
Youth will be identified, screened, referred, and monitored based on a process implemented by the city-wide partnership to reduce crime. The intervention and service model has a strong research base. Outcome data will be evaluated on a one group pre/post design with a comparison normative measure. Project youth will be involved in the data entry, analysis and evaluation process.
Inland Agency is the fiscal agent for Project YES and is a private non=profit community based organization that has served Riverside county since 1969. The Agency currently manages five (5) health promotion and violence prevention programs (includes PRO) serving 130,000 people per year. PRO has the capacity (personnel, space, computers, office equipment, experience) to host Project YES at its office in the Caesar Chavez Center in the heart of the Eastside.
3. How is the program financed?
This proposal was funded by California Office of the Attorney General in response to a Gang, Crime and Violence Prevention Partnership Program RFP issued by that office as a result of the passage of AB 963 a California state law mandating a more balanced, preventive, and comprehensive approach for reducing crime and violence in California. The program is budgeted at $200,000 for the first of four (4) years. $50,000 is budgeted to pay the salaries of youth placed in quality jobs, with the remainder funding a full time Job Developer, three (3) Outreach Workers and part-time staff and operational costs incurred by the participating CBOís.
4. Contact persons:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.