PITTSFIELD -- The city has been awarded a competitive Shannon Community Safety Initiative grant of $100,000 to support the Gang Enforcement project.

The funds will be used to hire a program coordinator who will work on a range of social and intervention initiatives and support ongoing activities at the municipal community centers located public housing facilities. A primary partner will be the Salvation Army, which coordinates the Bridging the Gap program. Also supporting the initiative will be the Pittsfield Police Department with community outreach efforts.

Many programs at the city's community centers, at 240 Francis Plaza and 253 Dower Square, include activities with organizations like the United Way, Berkshire Health Systems' Accent on Health; the Berkshire Humane Society, the Salvation Army, Youth Alive, the PPD's "Coffee with a Cop" program and other outreach activities.

A focus on literacy, building self-esteem and public safety has been integrated into the programs at both centers.

The Sen. Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative supports multi-disciplinary approaches to combating gang violence.