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CommUnify launches $2.5 Million project to help at risk youths in Santa Barbara County


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - CommUnify is launching a multi-million dollar program called Secure Families.

“We are incredibly excited. This is the first time that we’ve been able to come together as a community and address the issues and the root causes of violence in the community," said CEO Patricia Keelean.

This state-awarded grant will allow nine partner organizations to work together in helping at-risk youth in the community.

One of those organizations is Fighting Back Santa Maria.

“Like many communities, Santa Maria is concerned about young people getting involved in violent behavior. So this will be a chance to intercede that at a very young age. So we’re excited about an opportunity to impact young people at an early age," said executive director Edwin Weaver of Fighting Back Santa Maria.

“The benefit to the community is if a child is off track by 1° we can get them back on track, and we can help them meet their destination in life," said deputy chief executive officer Steven DeLira of Family Service Agency.

CommUnify hopes this new program will ultimately help reduce violence in the Santa Maria community.

“We’re going to be looking at fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders providing an early intervention program that really addresses the whole family," said Keelean.

Once the needs are identified, CommUnify will offer intensive case management including weekly consultations for students and their households.

“I think resiliency is in young people, something we’re all trying to achieve together and I’m very excited so many different agencies decided to do this one project together," said Weaver.

“My hope for this program is that we put youth on the path to being successful in middle school, high school and as young adults," said Keelean.
Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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