An Abbotsford program is receiving nearly $1 million in funding to combat gang and gun violence from the provincial government, as part of more than $5 million going to B.C. anti-gang and gun initiatives.

B.C. received $5.3 million in funding as part of a partnership with Public Safety Canada, with a goal of supporting community initiatives in areas facing gang and gun concerns.

"Working with our federal, municipal and community partners, we can strike at the root of the problem in our neighbourhoods to ensure our youth are resilient to the lure of gangs and gang violence, helping them make positive life choices while laying the groundwork for a safer, more positive future for all citizens in B.C.," Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in a news release.

The money will go towards six gang-related prevention and intervention programs, ranging from Abbotsford to the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.

Abbotsford will received the biggest payout, with $977,966 going towards the city's "Abbotsford In It Together: Supporting Youth Involved in Gang Activity" program.

"We are grateful to receive this funding to address such a critical need in our community. This will allow us to work with the youth at highest risk of and those involved in gang activity," said Alison Gutrath, the program's community coordinator.

The money is part of $30 million the province will receive over the next five years as part of a federal government action fund.

The funding will also go towards the Surrey Wrap program – an anti-gang program in Surrey. The government says the number of youths and families served by the program has grown from 131 to 168.

The remainder of the money is being dispersed to a range of organizations and programs:

  • $225,000 to the Abbotsford Community Services Society's Enhancing Gang Prevention and Intervention Programming with South Asian Youth
  • $207,795 to the Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association's Future Forward program
  • $173,361 to the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre Society's Youth and Family Navigator program
  • $450,000 to the Pacific Centre Family Services Association's Crime Reduction and Exploitation Diversion program
  • $580,000 to the BC School Superintendents Association's Support for High Risk, Vulnerable Youth in BC Communities program.