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Fri, 03 Jun 2005

$500G to curb gangs - Newsday

NASSAU COUNTY
$500G to curb gangs

Monte R. Young
June 3, 2005

In an effort to curb gang activities in Nassau County, three local nonprofit groups will split $500,000 to provide employment and career development services for current and former gang members.
"We are getting the money to agencies that serve our youth and I hope we can come up with more," said Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) who pushed county lawmakers to provide funding for youth groups.
Last year, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi appointed a gang czar to coordinate the administration’s anti-gang efforts because of growing gang violence on Long Island.
While police officials have cracked down on gang activities, Suozzi said yesterday that the county also needed to provide youth and adults with alternatives and support.
"I’ve been to too many funerals," said Sergio Argueta, a Hempstead gang intervention activist and former member of the Rondel Pride gang. "But this is about action and not just words."
The three Hempstead agencies are the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County Inc., $175,000; STRONG Youth Inc., $125,000; and the Education and Assistance Corporation, $200,000.
Suozzi said the funding of the agencies "will keep our children away from gangs, drugs and violence, and that kind of protection is invaluable."


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