With the transition to online learning and virtual communications, the staff at Gang Alternative, Inc. have made adjustments to stay engaged and connected with clients. Our positive youth development programs such as Youth Splash, Building Leaders of Character (BLOC), and Minority Violence Prevention (MVP88) are keeping up with students using digital communication tools, including Zoom and WhatsApp. They are diligently working to assist students and their families in the transition to distance learning by providing help with homework and staying connected while social distancing. As an incentive, students who win academic challenges within their program groups are rewarded with free pizza delivered to their homes.
Despite the trying circumstances that are prompting this move to digital learning, we find comfort in the fact that students are developing virtual skills that will be helpful to them throughout their careers in the long-term.
Our Circle of Strength Family Strengthening Network (COS) and Circle of Strength Parenting (COSP) programs are helping adult and child clients by providing therapeutic (counseling) and parenting support services using various technological resources such as teleconferencing, face time/videoconferencing and numerous messaging applications. GA staff members are working to provide individuals and families with the resources and skills necessary to build self-awareness, promote healthy physical and emotional development and to cope with the emotional, social, and psychological impacts of COVID-19.
For our workforce development programs in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Gang Alternative, Inc. staff overseeing Project RENEW have been assisting clients with filing unemployment claims and applying for free internet service with Comcast. Staff members have also been maintaining social distancing by meeting with clients via telephone, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom to create resumes, assist with job applications, and virtual job fairs.
Our clients re-entering the workforce are being provided support and guidance while enrolling in online industry-recognized credential and short-term certificate courses to increase their employability once the economy returns to normalcy. Additionally, clients are being referred to legal service partners for assistance with maneuvering through any documented restrictions to employment and social services for individuals with criminal backgrounds.
Program staffs are continuously coming up with new ways to keep clients informed on how to thrive and survive during this time while maintaining everyone’s health and safety. Stay tuned for more details on upcoming events and follow our social media for updates on community resources available in your local area.