SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – The City of San Jose hopes to change the lives of at-risk youth when they are, arguably, needing them the most. San Jose’s Gang Prevention Task Force is partnering with Valley Medical Center on a new outreach program, which is poised to launch by mid-summer 2012.

“You meet these kids when they are stabbed and shot and come in through the ER room,” task force superintendent Mario Maciel described how the program will work. “What an opportunity to engage them in their most vulnerable moment and offer services that they may have just 24 hours earlier blown you away.”

This intervention plan is similar to one offered by the group Youth Alive in Oakland, partnering street outreach team members with each and every young knife wound and gunshot victim who comes into Valley Medical Center.

“If we don’t maximize that opportunity,” reasoned Maciel, “that same scar that could have been an opportunity becomes look at me, I’m invincible and he’s showing all his buddies his gunshot wound and that’s what’s happening because they’re coming in and being treated medically and then being released.”

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“With a gunshot wound to your abdomen, all of a sudden the concept of changing your lifestyle is a bit more relevant, I would imagine,” summed up Maciel.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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