Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton will be part of a new community coalition to help young victims of gang violence in the greater Trenton area.

PEI Kids received a three-year $316,000 federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to create The Greater Trenton Outreach to Support Youth Victims of Gang Violence. At least eight community agencies, including CCDOT, will partner on the project.

The grant is part of federal authorities’ effort to assist communities grappling with high levels of gang violence. Trenton officials have blamed gangs for shootings and retaliatory violence, which recently ranked high on a list of “Most Miserable Cities in America” in part because of fights between neighborhood gangs.

Catholic Charities’ Family Growth Program in Ewing will provide therapeutic services to youth and their families. The project, which should be operational by January, will be based on a multidisciplinary team (MDT) response model. Besides helping affected youth, a key goal is to enhance public safety in the community.

Other partners committed include: Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Mercer County Department of Human Services, Capital County Children's Collaborative/Care Management Organization, The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Youth Advocate Programs and YWCA Princeton.

Catholic Charities’ Family Growth Program serves children and families affected by violence and abuse. In April, it expanded to new offices in the Scotch Plaza at 1239 Parkway Ave., Ewing.

PEI Kids, a nonprofit founded in 1985, works with youth and their families, educators and caregivers to provide Prevention, Education and Intervention programs relating to personal safety; sexual abuse; delinquency prevention; and the overall well-being of the child.

To learn more about PEI Kids and the Greater Trenton Outreach to Support Victims of Gang Violence project, call 609-695-3739 or visit PEI Kids NJ.