“If it hadn’t been for GA, I would probably be in jail or dead.”
These words are a reflection of a young man about South Florida’s community program, Gang Alternative Inc. (GA), which explains why group services are an important refuge and resource for many in the counties. of Broward and Miami-Dade. As a global outreach and social service program, GA saves lives. In 2020 alone, its services benefited nearly 15,000 people in 83 postal codes.
The nonprofit organization evolved from a former church ministry following a high crime model in Miami in the late 1980s. Incorporated in 2005, GA has grown into a full service provider that develops resources to dismantle the “gang mentality” that controls individuals and families in communities in downtown South Florida.
Whenever possible, GA takes the approach of intervening with a positive influence early on. Twenty-five programs on the organization’s current roster give participants the tools they need to improve their life skills and build healthier relationships. This South Florida community program also offers reform programs and behavioral health services like trauma therapy and recovery. Beyond the initial interactions, they are constantly developing and introducing intuitive services that help young people and families to implement the skills taught in their programs.
“If it hadn’t been for the GA, I wouldn’t be focusing on school,” said a young woman who described the organization as a refuge. “I wouldn’t have the resources, and I wouldn’t have a family to come to whenever I needed to talk to someone.
To change the destructive mindsets of youth and young adults and to improve their family environment, GA works with people of different ages and their families in a holistic way. Besides developing the participant’s workforce, they focus on broader issues such as family strengthening, health literacy and many other services.
Gang Alternative, Inc. is more than just hope for the best. They have many success stories that prove their programs work.
“GA has helped me stop being a follower and become a leader,” said one person who now gives advice to other communities.
To donate, volunteer, or learn more about Gang Alternative, Inc., the life-changing South Florida community program, visit MyGA.org.