The B.C. government has announced it is using seized proceeds of crime to fund $6 million in grants for programs that aim to make their communities safer.

In a statement issued Friday, the province said 173 community-based groups – including school districts and not-for-profits – will receive one-time funding as part of the Crime Prevention and Remediation program.

Initiatives that work directly towards crime prevention and reduction will be getting a combined $1.5 million. The rest of the money is earmarked for programs such as those that help advance restorative justice and prevent violence against women.

"Taking the proceeds of crime and putting them back into our communities to help prevent further crime is just one way to help make our neighbourhoods safer," B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in the release. 

"Many of these organizations are working with our most vulnerable citizens, helping them to rebuild and heal after years of violence, or working to prevent youth from engaging in a life of crime."

Farnworth announced the recipients in Surrey Friday. 

Recipients include MOSAIC-BC, which is part of a collaborative receiving $75,000 to hold workshops and develop gang-prevention programs for young people and families.

"We know that there are various reasons why youth get drawn into gang lifestyle, and this is an issue that impacts youth from across all cultures,” said spokesperson Ninu Kang. “It is important that staff from services agencies have culturally relevant gang-prevention training and materials to support at-risk youth and their families.”

Surrey’s Atira Women’s Resource Society is getting $30,000 to provide support workers for Indigenous women who have experienced violence or homelessness as well as those involved in street-level sex work.

The YMCA of Northern BC is receiving more than $70,000 to expand service for youth with mental health and substance abuse issues and those who are at high risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

The Warmland Restorative Justice Society, the John Howard Society of Central and South Okanagan and the Peers Victoria Resource society are also grant recipients.

According to the province, the Crime Prevention and Remediation has contributed more than $39 million to these kinds of initiatives since 2006.