Pat Graham

Pat Graham

Gangs topic of meeting

The issue of youth gangs and violence will be discussed at an open meeting Thursday, June 18 in Williams Lake.

The issue of youth gangs and violence will be discussed at an open meeting Thursday, June 18 in Williams Lake.

Pat and Erin Graham, who run Guardian Youth at Risk and Family Services in the lakecity, have organized the meeting.

“We called a meeting last month with Shan Stump-William who runs Changing Directions in Support of Aboriginal Youth and we invited city council, the RCMP, the mayor, the legal system, social workers and the general public,” Pat said.

“We hope this second meeting will produce more answers on how to deal with gang problems in Williams Lake.”

Through their business, the Grahams work on the rehabilitation of gang members, street kids or foster kids, any children in need of having a life change, Pat said, noting he was drawn to work with youth because of his own background.

“I’m an ex gang banger myself,” he said.

“I changed my life quite a few years ago and started working and helping with youth around me to make changes in their lives.”

His training is the fact he’s “been there done that,” he said.

“In so many ways, even though I am rehabilitated, I’m one of these youths. We also take in youth at-risk in our home if they are contracted to us and that’s 24-hour care. We have youth in our care right now.”

Working with her husband has been quite a unique experience, Erin said.

“It has been interesting finding out what’s really bothering the young people who are getting into so much trouble.”

Gang violence touches everyone, she added.

“It has to be brought under a certain amount of control so the community isn’t at risk all the time,” she said.

The Grahams moved to Williams Lake from Prince George last October to be closer to family and make some life changes, Erin added.

“We also saw there was a need here for a youth centre for certain youth. I think that’s a big thing in each community. You really have to start with the kids and ask them what they need,” Erin said.

Mayor Walt Cobb said he and some members of council attended the first meeting and will be at the meeting Thursday.

“It is an ad-hoc committee at the beginning stages of trying to figure out a different way to deal with gangs and youth and hopefully more youth won’t get involved with gangs,” said Cobb. “What  we’re doing now doesn’t seem to be working so we are brainstorming for alternatives.”

The meeting will take place in the Rick Hansen Boardroom at city hall from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

A drive-thru restaurant and beer and wine store is being proposed by Broadway Landco Management Ltd. for the former Chemo RV site at 1704 Broadway Ave. South. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Drive-thru restaurant, beer and wine store proposed for Williams Lake

Owners of property at 1704 Broadway Ave. South have applied for a zoning amendment

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read