The Support Project consists of peers, staff and former gang members meeting in informal and educational groups where they talk about issues facing youth in the gang life-style and in their personal lives. Designed to be a ‘safe’ environment, these group meetings encourage open discussions and help staff get to know and assess youth for more intensive intervention needs. The groups meet weekly and are open so a kid may begin attending at any time. Youth stay in these groups for ten to twelve weeks. If, after three months, the youth does not need more intervention, he/she is referred back to the original agency. Groups are conducted weekly. GRASP group meets every Thursday sessions are held at the 303 W. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80204 beginning at 6:00 P.M., On the 9th Floor
AIM At-Risk Intervention Mentoring
AIM is Denver Health's hospital-based violence intervention program. AIM targets youth 10-24 who present to the emergency department after a traumatic injury. After meeting youth at the hospital bedside, outreach workers provide one-on-one focused mentoring of a period of months, building long term plans to change at-risk behaviors.
Targeted Presentations are given at schools, businesses, and other community forums. These talks are uniquely designed so GRASP members can connect with boys and girls who are at-risk of gang involvement, or are active in gangs now. Youth in the audience hear from former gang members who have successfully left the gang life-style. Presenters tell why they joined a gang, why and how they left the gang, and how they turned their lives around.
Tattoo Removal Program criteria:
• Between 14-24 years old
• Complete 15 hour of community Service
• If under 20 must attend 10 Thursday night Healing Circles
• Tattoos must be in the qualifying areas ie. face, neck, arms and hands
• Must commit to a gang free lifestyle
• Must live in the Metro Denver area
Tattoo Removal Program is a collaborative effort between Tattoo Undo & Veins Too and GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project). The focus for this program is to assist youth in an integral part of a positive, lifestyle change. Tattoo removal is an important part, at any stage of change, in breaking one’s identity from the gang lifestyle and creating a person free of negative labels written on their skin to define who they are. It is, therefore, an expectation that each participant has already made the commitment to exit gang life and commit to a positive lifestyle void of gang identification. Tattoo removal would then become the next necessary step toward successful change, and reward for completing the rehabilitation process.
There has always been a parallel that could be drawn between the domestic economy, unemployment epidemics, and youth crime, particularly violent crime. Many youth growing up in the inner-city feel that the problems they face such as family dysfunction, gangs, drugs and alcohol abuse are what they deserve. The never ending cycle of violence that grips our barrios needs to be broken. GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project) is taking on the challenge by using graffiti art as a call to action.
The Barrio Unity Mural Project will use art as a social utility to bring to the forefront, issues of youth violence and the effects that gang lifestyle have on our families and the community.