Counselor hopes to start gang intervention program

Clovis will soon have a new program designed to combat gangs, according to a psychotherapist who already works with the Pathway House in Clovis.
Known as “New Mexico New Start,” the organization will be run by Julian Gomez, who came to Clovis on Aug. 8 to introduce a former gang member from Los Angeles who will help administer his program.
“Our goal long-term is to be established throughout the state,” Gomez said. “We want to provide an option to keep kids within their communities, because in Clovis I’ve got kids (who come) from all over the state.”
Gomez said he’s been working with probation officers and judges in Curry County and surrounding areas to get referrals of at-risk young people who are involved in gangs or other activities and could use a program to get them back on track in their lives.
The initial meeting brought 42 young people to Pathway House to hear Tra Ravenel, whose gang activities and drug dealing in Los Angeles landed him in federal prison. While incarceration often drags people further into criminal behavior, Gomez said it forced Ravenel to face the consequences of his behavior and led him to turn his life around.
“We had some of the kids start crying during the presentation and we had counselors from the respective agencies ready to deal with that,” Ravenel said. “We’re trying to set up a good network of community resources for kids.”
Gomez said he plans to return to Clovis in late August or early September to lay the foundations for an intensive outpatient program.
Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ staff writer Darrell Todd Maurina. Suggested items may be mailed to editor David Stevens at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is: david_stevens@link.freedom.com