The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Catholic Charities turns hundreds of gang members around

April 15, 2010

Oregon Faith News Note: When it comes to headlines about gangs you often do not hear good news.  There is hope and people working with success at turning youths around.  The Oregon Catholic Church reaches 170 youths in their outreach program.  The Catholic Sentinel reports,

“For 13 years, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Portland has hired case managers to work with 12- to 18-year-olds whose lives have been affected by gangs. Instead of immersing themselves in crime and violence, the teens go on hikes, play soccer, improve their academics and speak their hearts. What’s more, Catholic Charities helps families with social service needs, including drug and alcohol treatment. “

Here is an example of a success story

“Such work takes time. But Wiggins can tell stories. One boy was about to be expelled from high school for behavior problems. The Catholic Charities case manager begged for one more chance and began a vigorous regimen. It turned out the boy has a passion for art, which Catholic Charities helped him pursue. While he has not become a straight-A student, the boy is still in school and on track to graduate next year. “

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