The City of Lethbridge has received a large amount of federal funding to help combat gun and gang violence in our city.
A one year deal worth close worth $665,618 will be allocated to help address early intervention for youth in Lethbridge.
Andrew Malcolm, the general manager of community social development with the city explained how this funding could be used to help hire a clinical social worker or a psychiatric nurse with the option of extending the deal to three years.
“One of the aspects of the future year work is to look at sustainable funding. So we recognize that this grant and anything proposed as an intervention method or prevention method is likely to have ongoing costs. Part of what we’ve already been talking about in terms of our consultant expertise that we’d be looking at is experience with understanding what funding sources are out there, so that anything proposed as an initiative through this has some sustainable funding attached to it or that we could look at. Understanding again this is only through the Building Safer Communities Fund would be within the next three years.”
Councillor Belinda Crowson says this funding is vital for early intervention to make sure youth in our community don’t turn to a life of crime.
“We talk all the time of the need to have more intervention and prevention services. That if we do that work with youth, with people before they are into violence, into crime, if we do the work with people before they are unhoused, if we do that work, in the end we save time, money, energy we redirect people into a better lifestyle and into a better life in the future. And that’s what I see here. And this is a federal grant. We have the money here and we can use it appropriately. And if we look at it as doing prevention and intervention and doing a builder- building a safer community, I can absolutely get behind this.”
City staff say that there is no net cost to the city for this initiative.