DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The City of Danville is in the national spotlight for its program youth antiviolence intervention efforts.
Danville is the only city with a population of less than 100,000 to be included in the Urban Institute’s released guide of localities that help to reduce youth gun and gang violence.
“When you talk about gang violence prevention, these big cities are the names that pop up,” said Robert David, the youth services and gang violence prevention coordinator for the City of Danville. “They have been doing this for a long time. To be recognized says a lot about the work we are doing here.”
The city’s program, Project Imagine, gives gang-affiliated teens a future off the streets. It started in 2018 and consists of a nine-week paid work experience and mentoring program with a partnering agency.
“Many cities have no clue how to begin fighting youth violence,” David said. “When they reach out to see what other cities are doing, it is hard to for them to relate to the programs you see in bigger cities. But they can take what we are doing and use it for their area.”