With Gang Alternative’s mission of “building character that lasts,” the faith-based organization channels power from its strong community coalitions to support youth and build safer communities.
In many South Florida areas, poverty and substance abuse ravage young people and their families. Through its five Pillars of Service (Positive Youth Development, Family Strengthening, Community Upliftment & Partnerships, Health & Wellness and Workforce Development), GA offers free resources to alleviate these challenges and empower lasting community change.
As an experienced coalition-builder, GA understands that only through collective action can true community change be made. Through its Urban Partnership Drug Free Community Coalition (UPDFCC), GA has worked toward reducing underage drinking and marijuana use for over 10 years using a 12-sector approach to bring community members from all levels together to enact change. To build capacity among the youth it serves, UPDFCC is also guided by the Youth Frontline Coalition (YFC), which operates in several middle and high schools in Little Haiti, Liberty City and the surrounding areas.
YFC is a youth-led/adult-guided movement where young people learn valuable life skills and connect with their peers to combat social norms that encourage substance abuse. GA also leads the Urban Partnership for Success Collaborative Miami (UPSCM), seven drug-free community coalitions that convene monthly to dissect data and determine substance abuse prevention policy needs.
In addition to community coalitions addressing alcohol and marijuana use, GA leads a Service Partnership coalition through its United People Lifting Individuals and Families Together (UPLIFT) program. The UPLIFT Service Partnership is a place-based coalition of social service providers working together to deliver coordinated services to families. UPLIFT also provides direct services to families in need, providing access to public benefits, housing, mental health services and more.
Leonard F., a husband and father of two who was recently referred to UPLIFT, says, “This staff always reserves a warm welcome when serving me. I got a fee of $1,000 to pay my rent, and [the Care Coordinators] took care of all my files before reactivating my food stamp card.”
There is no wrong door at GA — the faith-based organization has programs that are all interconnected, so no matter what you need, one of GA’s programs can help.
To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit Gang Alternative at www.MyGA.org.