This video features brave individuals that have successfully exited "gang life" and are working in the community to help others who are entrenched in street life. They are now giving back to the community to help those who also struggle to heal. Although these individuals all come from an Indigenous background and share their experiences from Winnipeg's North End, the conditions that lead people into that life exist in every community. If you or someone you know is seeking support to exit a gang or want to know more about GAIN, the work we do and help to support those that are victims of gang life, please visit our website at gainmb.org.
The Gang Action Inter-Agency Network (GAIN) is a network of government, not-for-profit agencies, community organizations, and law enforcement officials, working on grassroots solutions to the gang problem in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We're committed to taking action to address and solve the gang problem by building on research, current best practices, and developing the resources needed to prevent youth from joining gangs. This way, we'll help others get out if they do get caught up in that life.
At GAIN, we believe that gangs are a manifestation of underlying social, economic issues that have not been resolved, such as poverty and trauma. In Winnipeg, we have over 1,500 gang members and 2,500 associated members, with almost 25 active gangs active in the city.
GAIN's sole purpose is to help young people in our communities avoid and exit gangs. For a person involved in "street life," it can take anywhere from 1 - 6 years before they're entirely out of that life. A variety of overlapping struggles such as mental health, employment, housing, and safety are factors that will leave a person stuck in that life unless we can provide the necessary supports and alternatives.