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Local organizations keep kids from gang life

Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 18:43:02-05

Community advocates are showing kids they do not need to turn to gangs there are other options.

Project Harmony hosted a training session for local organizations with YouTurn.  Almost 50 people learned how to change behaviors, and keep kids from getting into gangs in Omaha.

YouTurn says if children "act out" it doesn't mean they're more likely to turn to violence, but new technology has provided gangs new ways to target victims or carry out crimes.

"We in some way as a community have made it comfortable for our young people to be brought up in an environment where they find gangs and they find youth violence as being their only resource to be able to deal with conflict," said Judith M. Hill, the Program Director of YouTurn.

It's part of Project Harmony's "Trauma Matters" initiative to show kids and families that even though they've been through traumatic events there's still hope.

"We can see how violence can cause trauma but what we're really learning is that a lot of people who are impacted by violence or who are perpetrating the violence have a trauma history," said Jessica Kroeker, the Coordinator of Trauma Matters Omaha.

Project Harmony says they'll have another training session in May and every three months, but because of the response to this one they might schedule more.