Army helps weed and seed

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Alaska alliance works to better the community.

The Salvation Army in Fairbanks, Alaska, is part of a coalition of 15-20 non-profit organizations seeking to make the community a better place.

The initiative, called “Weed and Seed,” is funded through a U.S. Department of Justice grant and includes the local efforts of the United Way, police department, literacy council, Boys and Girls Club, and after-school programs. Their goal is to “weed” out the bad in the neighborhood and plant “seed” to grow good.

According to the United Way website, “Weed and Seed is a strategy designed to enhance community cohesion, and increase services that promote neighborhood revitalization, while at the same time prevent, control and reduce crime, drug abuse and gang activity through increased outreach between community residents and local law enforcement.”

This is done through four components: community policing; neighborhood restoration; prevention, intervention and training (PIT); and law enforcement. Each of these areas has a subcommittee that develops and implements specific tasks to achieve the goals and objectives identified by residents and the steering committee.

Programs at the corps—including parenting classes, reading programs and assistance for homeless youth—aim to help people in Fairbanks with everyday issues. A neighborhood watch group and a housing restoration plan are also underway in the area.

“My hope is that Fairbanks will become a better community with healthier families,” Fairbanks Corps Officer Major Michael Bates said. “We want to provide hope and insight to help people get through difficult situations.”

“Weed and Seed” is in its second year of a five-year grant term.

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