Gang of One, Charlotte’s only gang prevention and early intervention program, will lose $300,000 in federal grants which have supported their staff of 8 and programs.
Managed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police department (CMPD) since 2004, an estimated 12,000 people are impacted annually through their services and community outreach.
One-on-one mentoring, family sessions, weekly dinners and classes are some of the approaches to impacting positive choices for youth.
Gang of One operates out of the Greenville Center which they reopened in 2010, vacated due to Mecklenburg County budget reductions. The space is shared with the Police Activities League (PAL), another mentoring program with a track record of success.
According to their website, their current staff is an integral part of the Multidisciplinary Gang Reentry and Intervention Team (GRIT)
. . . composed of professionals from the field of juvenile justice, law enforcement, and education who work together to case manage youth to reduce gang involvement and criminality. GRIT serves gang involved youth returning to Mecklenburg County from Youth Development Centers (reentry) and residing in Mecklenburg County (intervention). The Multidisciplinary Gang Intervention Team is at the core of the OJJDP [Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention] Comprehensive Gang Model.
Outreach programs provide unaware parents with the latest information from the field about gang culture, signs and symbols that their children might be embracing.
It is remarkable that the 2013 Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance “Mentee of the Year” participates in the Gang of One program. Demarcus McBride, who joined the program in 2010, progressed from having a 1 year out of school suspension due to gang related activity to maintaining passing grades with a part-time job. His goal is to become a chef, and he was recognized for his hard work to turn his life around.
Unfortunately CMPD cannot afford to take on the expenses for Gang of One. All classes will stop in June.