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$500,000 awarded to support Boston's youth and prevent neighborhood violence

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Mayor's Office

20 organizations have been awarded funding through the 2020 Positive Youth Development Fund and Young Adult Development Fund

BOSTON - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - Building on his commitment to investing in positive pathways for residents in the City of Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced 20 organizations have been awarded funding through the 2020 Positive Youth Development Fund and Young Adult Development Fund, increasing the availability of development programs and providing positive opportunities for Boston youth and young adults. 

"Community programs throughout the city provide opportunities to guide young people in a positive direction and away from violence," said Mayor Walsh. "By supporting their needs and future aspirations, these nonprofits help to support our young Bostonians' futures, and improve the quality of life in our city and public safety in our neighborhoods."

Awardees of the Youth Development Fund will increase the number and variety of programs available to Boston youth ages six to 21 to ensure they have access to fun and safe opportunities for enrichment and personal development. Awardees of the Young Adult Development Fund are organizations that work to increase opportunities for Bostonians over 24 struggling to find gainful employment after criminal justice involvement, or experiencing negative impacts as a result of poverty and limited access to educational opportunities.

"The City's investment in youth development programs is a critical piece of our violence prevention and intervention efforts, and I am proud to continue to partner with Mayor Walsh and the Boston Police Department to award these grants," said City Council President Andrea Campbell. "These programs each have a tremendous impact on youth and young adults in our communities, providing mentoring, tutoring, job readiness, and most importantly, safe spaces for them to grow and thrive."

"BAM Boston is thrilled that the City has further cemented its commitment to empowering youth to reach their potential," said Shawn Brown, executive director of Becoming a Man (BAM) Boston. "We are grateful for the support of the Walsh Administration and proud to join this community of like-minded organizations working to improve the lives of Boston's young people."

Funding priorities for this cycle were given to programs that demonstrate understanding and use of the positive youth development framework and those that support marginalized youth populations that need specialized programming and services. This year, $400,000 was collectively awarded to further these programs in individual awards of $25,000.

The following organizations and programs were granted the Youth Development Fund awards:

  • Casa Myrna - Teen Peer Leader Program/Girls Leadership Program

  • Center for Teen Empowerment - Teen Empowerment Boston

  • Charlestown Lacrosse and Learning Center - Youth Mentoring Workforce

  • East Boston Ecumenical Community Council - GOALs-Youth Leadership/Civic Engagement Program

  • Friends of the Children-Boston - Long-Term, Professional Mentoring for Highest-Risk Children & Youth

  • Girls' LEAP - Lifetime Empowerment Awareness Program (LEAP)

  • Mildred C. Hailey Tenant Organization - Mildred C. Hailey Tenant Organization Youth Programming

  • More Than Words - Youth Development and Job Training, More Than Words

  • The Phoenix-Massachusetts - Youth and Young Adult Programming at The Phoenix

  • Roca, Inc. - Roca's Central American Youth Initiative (East Boston)

  • Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. - Gaining Independence for Tomorrow (GIFT)

  • South Boston Community Health Center - South Boston Community Health Center's Youth Ambassadors Program

  • Summer Search - Summer Search Boston

  • The Home for Little Wanderers - Therapeutic After School Program

  • Urbano Project, Inc. - Urbano's Youth Artist Projects

  • Youth Guidance-BAM Boston - Becoming a Man (BAM) Boston

"Our youth-serving partners have enabled the Boston Police Department to build trusting relationships with neighborhood youth for over 30 years now," said Police Commissioner William G. Gross. "Without their hard work and commitment, community policing in Boston would be very difficult to accomplish. We thank all of those that applied."

Building on the previous success of Boston's Young Adult Development Fund, this year, grants awarded will support at-risk individuals ages 24 and above. The City is targeting this age group because of data indicating that upticks in violence are due in part to a small population of individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 that are engaging in violence, according to the Boston Police Department. From the beginning of January until the end of September, overall crime in Boston is down by six percent, compared to the same period last year.  

The funds from this year's Young Adult Development fund will also complement the City of Boston's Operation Exit and Renew, which are both restorative justice programs aimed at allowing Boston's population most vulnerable to gun violence andreturning incarcerated citizens, greater opportunities to reenter and give back to their community. 

"We applaud the Walsh Administration for supporting young adults by ensuring the community has a diverse and broad range of supports," said Jon Feinman, founder and CEO of InnerCity Weightlifting, Inc. "We are excited to be a 2020 Young Adult Development awardee and further collaborate with the Walsh Administration, so young adults can have the resources they need to thrive."

This year's award funding of a total of $100,000 to further these programs in individual awards of $25,000. The 2020 Young Adult Development Fund Awardees are as follows:

  • College Bound Dorchester - Boston Uncornered

  • InnerCity Weightlifting - InnerCity Weightlifting: Cohort Program

  • Justice Resource Institute, Inc. - STRIVE-Core Program

  • Mothers for Justice and Equality, Inc. - MJE Young Adult Second Chance Program

This summer the City of Boston implemented its 2019 Summer Violence Prevention Strategy Plan. The plan was guided by five goals that include scaling up prosocial and employment programming to engage more youth, strengthening intervention efforts and the suppression of crime in hotspots across the city, ensuring neighborhoods are connected to resources, expanding intentional outreach and engagement, and increasing and promoting positive community activities and engagement. The 2020 Youth Development Fund and Young Adult Development Fund build on the City's summer violence prevention plan by funding programming that will support positive personal development and enrichment for our youth and young adults across a broad spectrum of needs.

Awardees of the 2020 Youth Development Fund and Young Adult Development Fund were collaboratively chosen by the Mayor's Office of Health and Human Services, the Boston Police Department, and the Mayor's Office of Public Safety. Each agency brought its expertise and insight to determine the collective impact on the community with each grantee's programming and services. 

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