Young black inner-city men are joining gangs to find acceptance and protection. They are also seeking role models because their fathers abandoned them. The streets and original gangsters become their families.
Gang life never turns out to be what these young men expect. They learn the life of a gangbanger is a daily grind of survival, struggle and running from the police. Plenty gang members lose their fight to survive and become felons or murder victims or both.
Many gangbangers want to leave the gangs, but few alternatives await them. In response, we are developing the G.A.N.G Mentor Program (G.A.N.G.). It will step in to provide alternatives to gang life. Incidentally, G.A.N.G. is an acronym for God’s Anointed New Generation.
The first aim of G.A.N.G. is to keep kids from gangs. We hope to accomplish the first goal by showing kids gang life is a definite path to prison or death. Research shows we must intervene in the lives of at-risk kids early to prevent them from joining gangs.
The second aim of G.A.N.G. is to help current gang members leave gangs. This second goal can be very challenging since gangs hate losing members. They believe in the principle that once a kid is a gang member, he is always a gang member. The aftercare for former gang members is also more daunting since they typically have criminal records, out-of-wedlock children without high school diploma.
Despite the challenges God will have us save lives through G.A.N.G.