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Gresham is excited to launch new Youth Services division

March 18, 2022

Gresham is excited to announce the hiring of Emon Ghassemi as the Youth Services Manager and Marcell Frazier as the Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator. The City is proud to welcome Emon and Marcell to the community and establish the long-awaited Youth Services Division within Gresham.

“My biggest passion is being able to give back and assist my community,” said Emon. “I’m excited to be in this new role and to make a positive impact on the youth and community of Gresham.”

In December of 2021, Gresham City Council approved the use of one-time funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to be designated for initializing a Youth Violence Prevention Program. Additionally, thanks to the efforts of our State Representatives, State Senator and Gresham City Council, the City was awarded a two million dollar grant for youth violence prevention, outreach, and intervention for the current biennium ending on June 30, 2023. This program and the broader division will be responsible for investing in culturally specific community-based organizations to provide services for youth and young adults in Gresham as well as positive recreational activities and engagement opportunities. 

“There's no denying the importance of this line of work. Our youth need outlets and pathways that lead them to productive and fulfilled lives,” said Marcell. “I'm excited about the vision that the City of Gresham has for the community. You can already see changes happening all around the community, including investments and new innovative ideas to make our community more livable. I think this City is moving in a great direction and I'm honored to be able to help push Gresham forward.”

Funding to date

  • Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) to provide outreach, prevention, and intervention strategies. $298,345.
  • Latino Network to provide outreach, prevention, and intervention strategies. $236,165.
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization to provide outreach, prevention, and intervention strategies. $200,000.
  • New Avenues for Youth to provide outreach, prevention, and intervention strategies. $142,930.
  • AS-IS Church/GRIT Underground to provide outreach, prevention, and intervention strategies. $71,000.
  • Beyond Black CDC to provide coordination and implementation of a Juneteenth cultural celebration in Gresham. Funding will include stipends for youth interns who will be hired to plan and implement the event. $30,000.

Safe Gresham

The Youth Violence Prevention Program is part of the larger Safe Gresham initiative. Safe Gresham is a community violence initiative that includes prevention, intervention, and collaboration between City staff, the Police Department, and the community. Historically, many of these bodies of work have functioned in silos. The City leadership recognizes that to address the rise in violence our community is experiencing, it is critical to address more than criminal justice, but the underlying causes of violence as well. By working together, the City is committed to creating a safe and inclusive community for all to thrive in. 

About Gresham

Gresham is a welcoming community of hard-working people where tradition and heritage meet innovation and opportunity in Oregon's fourth largest city. Gresham’s residents care deeply about our roots as a homestead and agricultural community and are committed to building a vibrant future. Today, Gresham is a dynamic, innovative, and rapidly growing city with a desire to thrive. In Gresham, we are family. To learn more, visit GreshamOregon.gov or visit us on Twitter at @CityofGresham.