Mission: Our mission is to prevent gang & youth violence by offering our youth a vision of change and the tools to make those changes in their lives and communities!
Results: PanZOu has changed the lives of hundreds of young people and their families since 2004. Most of our clients are multiple offenders who began their criminal activies while still a juvenile. We have an 88% success rate in keeping our clients from offending or re-offending while in our program!
As validation of our success, PanZOu received a 2005 Coordination Award from the National Weed and Seed Strategy, 2007 Angels Among Us Award from Department of Children & Families, 2009 Gang Violence Prevention Award from the US Attorney’s Office Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative and has been highlighted by the Attorney General as a model program for his Gang Reduction Strategy 2009-2012. As well, OJJDP recognized the PanZOu Project in its Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems: OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model (2008). The Urban Institute’s recent interim evaluation report on our program described our experience and capability implementing and managing such an effort as: “One of the strengths of the North Miami Beach GRP has been its organizational capacity and leadership… to bring together a diverse yet collaborative and cooperative group of partners who worked to ensure full implementation of the GRP model. The collaborative functioning within the committee has continued and expanded over time, and the building of such a collaborative partnership has been one of the site’s most important accomplishments” Community Collaborative Addressing Youth Gangs: Interim Findings from the Gang Reduction Program (May 2008).
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 100 youth AND their families
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I am a police officer with the City of North Miami Beach. I have watched the Panzou program grow since the day it began. They have reached out to the youth in the community as no other program ever has. They turn no one away, regardless of how they are perceived by others. Many of the youth that they have served, and are continuing to serve have changed their lives for the better. The Panzou project has impacted the city of NMB greatly.
PanZou has an amazing program for the at-risk youth of North Miami/North Miami Beach. I've spoken to the youths firsthand, and they view the staff as their second family. In some cases, PanZou is their only family. PanZou is a place they can come to get guidance, job skills and encouragement in the most difficult of circumstances. Laura Kallus and the rest of the staff are some of the most dedicated, caring people that I know!
PanZOu Project is the only comprehensive youth gang reduction program operating in South Florida. It helps keep kids out of gangs through prevention and intervention programs; helps youths returning from prison find activities other than gang "work," like jobs. Additionally, the project coordinates activities with the local police gang unit. The kids with whom the project works find social success where before they found crime.