Cash seized by the police in cases connected to gangs and drugs is being used to keep kids out of gangs and reduce violence against women. 

In total, 221 projects are getting one-time grants worth $8.6 million through the Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation grant program.

“Over the past 15 years, most civil forfeiture cases have been related to drugs, gangs, and organized crime. In turn, it’s appropriate that once again, some of the proceeds are going into gang prevention,” said B.C. solicitor general, Mike Farnworth. 

“These annual grants support life-changing and even life-saving work through supporting the prevention of gang involvement and of gender-based violence and violence against women.”

This year, 34 projects related to crime prevention, including projects focused on educating youth on the impacts of gang violence, are receiving $2.2 million. 

Vancouver Island and Powell River grant recipients include: 

Crime Prevention (Campbell River)

The John Howard Society of North Island is getting $65,000 for KidStart.

This project will provide a mentoring program for kids ages six to 18 who are at risk of mental health and substance use challenges, and are vulnerable to becoming involved in the criminal justice system. 

The program matches at-risk children and youth to carefully screened and trained volunteer adult mentors, to spend three hours per week participating in pro-social activities such as outdoor recreation, community events, sports, and help with schoolwork. 

In the long term, the number of youth with mental health and substance use challenges and the number of youth in the criminal justice system is expected to decrease. 

Restorative Justice (Campbell River)

The Campbell River Restorative Justice Youth Circles Project is getting $29,760.

The RJYCP will hire a Contract Outreach Worker for a term of one year, to engage with teens (13-19), from the three local First Nation Communities and School District 72, providing Restorative Justice Circles and preventative education presentations. 

The RJYCP will work directly with Victim Services, repairing harm and reducing incidents of on-line bullying and harassment, distribution of intimate images, targeting of LGBTQ2S+ students, and gaming addiction. 

Gender-Based Violence, Violence Against Women, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault (Comox Valley)

The Comox Valley Family Services Association’s Duenna Project – Empowering Young Women is getting $29,152.

This project will provide an eight-week empowerment and skill-building group for youth ages 15 to 19 who identify as either female, two-spirited or non-binary. 

The groups will engage in skill-building and relationship-building activities, including activities related to Indigenous cultures and traditions. 

Indigenous Healing (Nanaimo, Campbell River, Port Hardy, Port McNeill)

The Inter Tribal Services Association Finding Our Way project is getting $30,000.

This project will support Indigenous youth with liaison services, short-term counseling support, and peer mentoring regarding issues surrounding LGBTQ2S. 

The project will develop and deliver short-term support while the outreach worker connects them to resources that can provide long-term support. The project’s goal is to reduce the rate of LGBTQ2S youth suicide.

Restorative Justice (Powell River)

The Lift Community Services of qathet Society is receiving $30,000 for its qathet Community Justice project.

It aims to help restore relationships where conflict or crime has caused harm and address the underlying issues that perpetuate injustice through criminal and non-criminal restorative justice services to the region of qathet (including the City of Powell River), within the traditional territory of the Tla’amin, shíshálh, Klahoose, Homalco, and K’ómoks First Nations. 

Primary activities include facilitating restorative dialogues and training volunteers and community members to build capacity.