A local community organization is addressing the issue of gangs in Regina with an eight week pilot project starting this December.

Shawna Oochoo is the coordinator of the Gang Exit Program and is also the co-founder of White Pony Lodge.

She says since the shutdown of the Regina anti-gang services or 2011, the gang issue has grown in the city.

“We’ll work with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who are wanting to leave the gang and help them connect to some of those services and supports that are needed,” Oochoo said.

CTV News spoke to a former gang member who we will call John to protect his identity. John says leaving the gang has improved his lifestyle significantly.

“I love working my job, I love doing construction,” John told CTV News. “It’s better than it was in my past, I was on the street, selling drugs and robbing people.”

Oochoo says through the project - she hopes to have a better understanding of the needs of the people. And she admits she can't do this alone, she needs support from the community and all levels of government in order for this to have continued success.