The problem of youth crime and youth violence prompted the formation of the coalition. Violent crime involving youth during the time frame of Nov. 2003 and Jan. 2004 prompted many in the community to take a hard look at youth violence. It has been discovered that some trouble may be linked to the beginnings of gang formations in the community.

Police data reflected areas of the city where the incidence of youth crime is very high. This data along with survey data by the city made the coalition aware of a problem that could not be ignored, but had to be addressed.

The Florence City police data showed that the area north of Palmetto Street and East of Church Street had the highest incidence of juvenile crime. Surveys of this area through neighborhood groups reflected serious concerns about crime, drugs, and loitering.

In depth analysis of the community resources available has not been completed. A resource matrix of agency and other group programs targeting youth is under way. The matrix shows for each program: who is served, when they are served, numbers served, what the program’s focus is, and how effective it is.

After compiling the resource data we will be better equipped to direct our resources to areas that need help and evaluate funding of resources that duplicate services to the youth.