The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 10, 2014

ACRP conforms to area's needs | Has helped families cope for 25 years

JOHNSTOWN — Congratulations to the Alternative Community Resource Program on 25 years of serving the region’s children and youth.

The ACRP has enjoyed growth in facilities, staff and initiatives offered, and the community has benefitted all along the way.

The agency was launched in 1989 with six workers. ACRP at first operated out of a store and pizza shop on Franklin Street in Johnstown, working with troubled kids who had landed in the juvenile justice system.

Now, ACRP boasts 350 employees and offers a variety of programs across the region – at 13 locations and in 60 schools.

ACRP was born to meet a need, and kept building to meet other needs, Executive Director Frank Janakovic said.

Now, the organization offers after-school programs, family and mental-health counseling, work study opportunities and day-care services in churches and other spots all over the Johnstown area.

Janakovic and his team have forged relationships with area businesses, colleges and school districts, and have turned once-competing nonprofit agencies into partners in the betterment of the community.

“It has been an amazing ride from a pizza shop to where we are today,” he said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine, when we started, being able to do this.”

What a success story.

“It is not just ACRP,” Janakovic said. “It has been a concerted effort of the community. We have accomplished, collaboratively, a lot more as a group than we could ever do as a single agency.”

Collaboration is a central theme for ACRP and its service system – a model of outreach for others to emulate.

In our just-completed series “Kids In Crisis,” we showed ACRP’s place in the center of our region’s response to kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and other conditions.

And ACRP reaches out daily to struggling families to help them cope with challenges such as poverty, homelessness, substance abuse and under-employment.

We know the community will continue to need ACRP for the next 25 years.

History tells us ACRP will step up to meet whatever circumstances fate throws at us.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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