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Task Force Emerging to Help Youth, Families in Crisis

The Youth, Family and Health Regional Task Force would include representatives from Temecula, Murrieta and six other southwest Riverside County cities, as well their local school districts and law enforcement.

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy, recent talks among city officials from Temecula and Murrieta point toward the formation of a Youth, Family and Health Regional Task Force.

According to a news release issued by the Twin Cities, a meeting took place this week that was attended by Murrieta Mayor Rick Gibbs, Temecula Mayor Mike Naggar, Murrieta Councilman Harry Ramos, Murrieta Police Capt. Sean Hadden, Temecula police Chief Andre O’Harra, Temecula Interim City Manager Aaron Adams and representatives from Safe Alternatives for Everyone—S.A.F.E.—a Temecula-based nonprofit organization that provides services to families who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and violence.

Together, they discussed ways they could help through creating awareness and providing resources to local youth, parents and families trying to cope with challenges being faced in many households, the news release stated.

Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Naggar of Temecula expressed his desire to form a task force of community leaders and experts, similar to the region’s Medical Needs Task Force and Autism Task Force.

"I see a real need to assemble community leaders, identify problems, discuss solutions and implement them area wide," Naggar said. "A Task Force of leaders and experts can reach out to the community in a public forum and discuss issues that are prevalent today with young people and families. We need to provide resources for our community to be able to deal with modern day influences such as social media, virtual gaming, mental health, and drugs and alcohol to name a few."

Murrieta Mayor Rick Gibbs agreed, and added his thoughts.

"We live in a new world where there are a number of threats in our environment," Gibbs said. "Our children are our most precious resource so it is incumbent on elected leaders and school leadership to ensure that our families and children are provided the education, tools and resources that will keep them safe."

Leadership from the Twin Cities' and S.A.F.E. are expected to reconvene in early 2013. Their hope is to join forces with other cities, local school districts and law enforcement in the region to discuss a range of issues that affect youth and families with a goal to enhance available resources.

"If we can assist families through education, awareness and resources, and they are consequently better able to grasp and counter adverse challenges that they may face, then we’ve succeeded," Naggar said.

The anticipated makeup of the Youth, Family and Health Regional Task Force would include two council members from each Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Perris and Hemet and a representative from the school districts within each city, according to the news release.

Riverside County supervisors Jeff Stone and Kevin Jeffries, whose supervisorial districts falls within these areas, would also be encouraged to take part.

Jennifer Cartell December 21, 2012 at 05:38 PM
We had a similar lunch meeting group in Corona at the public library conference room and it was very well-attended and super effective in helping youth, teachers, pastors, medical personnel, police and social service agencies. One of the best strategy working groups that I have ever participated in. I believe it was called the Youth Task Forcce and we had about 75-100 people at each meeting. Great idea. It's amazing what we can do when we all work together. :)
Plumbing 101 December 21, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Identifying these issues is a great benefit to our society as we have to begin to push back against the influences that effect our youth in ways that lead to conflicted lives, potential tragedies, and Mental Illness.....I applaud this program and others like it and ask members of our community to stand behind them with support as our future may very well be effected adversely in the years to come if we do not. Re-instituting the draft might also help our youth become better members of our society with training and acquired skills and help to weed out those that may be mentally unstable provide them the help they need and prevent them from owning or accessing a firearm.
Galactic Cannibal December 21, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Is this another shallow American fairy tale. I think so. Why not stop spending $10 billion to build another military war ship (aircraft carrier) and use that money to create jobs for these so called "Families in crisis". $10 billion is , ten thousand million . Or give 10 million crisis families each $1,000 OH NO we can't do that it would leave the US less protected . Less protected from what ??? A Bubonic Plague..
GD December 22, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Nita, check out the TVUSD high school course catalog. The pathways do include the things you cite. http://www3.tvusd.k12.ca.us/catalog/Career_Pathways.pdf
GD December 22, 2012 at 02:04 AM
I agree with most of your points... but...skinny jeans?

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