Yakima will soon have new tools to tackle the areas gang problem as the Gang Free Initiative prepares to help its first group of at-risk kids. Soon, the YMCA will expand its mentor program to help more kids under the Gang Free Initiative umbrella.

The YMCA is one of four organizations so far that will be part of the Gang Free Initiative; groups that will work with kids to keep them from falling in with the wrong crowd. The goal is to give 30 kids at both Barge Lincoln and Garfield Elementary schools a mentor. GFI leaders say these 60 kids need the most help.

Another group, People for People, will field calls from parents who want services for their kids while Madison house will tutor them. The Yakima Police Athletic League will work on their life skills and promote gang awareness.

An open house will be held next month for the Gang Free Initiative.