Local non-profit helps young men break ties with gangs

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A local non-profit organization, whose work affects our entire community, celebrated a major accomplishment Tuesday night.

At first glance, Hok Sisana and Marcus Frazier, have little in common. But turn back time, and they're one in the same.

"Nine months ago I was not the person I am today," said Frazier. That's because until recently Frazier was a statistic. "Hanging out with a bunch of guys that were felons real scary lifestyle," he said.

Of the 23,000 identified gang members in Fresno County, he was one of them. But thanks to some help, he's changing. "Today is a big day because I'm the 2000th person to get a job at the hope now," said Frazier.

Hope Now for Youth is a group that helps young men break ties with gangs. They helped Frazier get his first real job. They helped Hok Sisana too. But it's been awhile. "22 years going on 23," said Sisana.

Frazier is the 2000th hire. And Sisana was the first.

"I'm thankful for this program that got me here. A job. A good life. Or else I wouldn't be here today," said Sisana.

Two former gang members, now a pair of book ends in a list of accomplished men.

"There's guys here at the hope now who think highly of me and I don't want to let them down," said Frazier. Every day, helping each other help themselves.

To learn more about the organization click here.
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