PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINSTRATION AWARDS $10 MILLION IN YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND TRAUMA RESPONSE TRAINING FUNDING TO MUNICIPALITIES
BOSTON -- Thursday, October 13, 2011 -- The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced that it will award $9.7 million in funding to 11 municipalities across the Commonwealth to support efforts to reduce youth violence. As part of the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, the state will provide funding to the following communities with high levels of youth-related homicides, non-fatal assaults and serious injuries: Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester.
“We need peace in urban communities,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “These initiatives will help us work more closely with local leadership and at-risk youth, to end the cycle of violence that devastates communities.”
The Safe and Successful Youth Initiative intends to bring additional services and supports to young men ages 14-24 who are likely to be perpetrators or victims of serious violence. Programs funded through these grants will directly serve about 1,000 youths in this population and will also support their family members, including children and siblings. An additional $262,000 will be used to provide trauma response training to grantees and to hire a program director to monitor the implementation of the various plans and manage the overall program.
“With this funding, we will work alongside local officials, community organizations, and a range of stakeholders in cities with our most at-risk youth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “By understanding the unique needs within each of these communities, together we will implement comprehensive plans that will engage our at-risk youth as we address violence in our neighborhoods.”
Governor Patrick launched the Commonwealth’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative earlier this year as a comprehensive violence prevention strategy to reduce homicides and serious assaults among Massachusetts youth. As part of this effort, Governor Patrick issued Executive Order 534 emphasizing the Administration’s commitment to partnering with local officials to address youth violence and filed legislation creating tougher gun laws that hold “high impact” individuals accountable.
“Building these partnerships between state and local governments will help ensure that every young person in Massachusetts has the opportunity to live a productive and happy life,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby.
"This funding is a terrific boost to communities engaged in some of the hardest work that exists,” said Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan. “That’s the work of reducing crime and providing opportunities for our youth to choose peace over violence. This is about giving our youth a chance and a choice.”
Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth and Families Marilyn Anderson Chase is leading the state’s efforts to address youth violence. “The Governor’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative recognizes that all young people are assets to our communities and that violence is preventable," said Chase. "These grants will bring together state and local governments in a shared commitment to youth.”
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services issued a Request for Responses in July 2011 to engage in a competitive bidding process. The 11 communities selected will implement coordinated intervention strategies focused on “proven risk” youth and are intended to fill gaps in direct services currently available. Each of the municipal grantees will support a full continuum of services for young men who are most likely to be victims or perpetrators of shooting or stabbing violence and their families, including identification, street outreach and engagement, trauma counseling, employment, education and services for families.
The funding, made available as part of the FY12 supplemental budget, will be distributed to the cities in two installments; half of the funding will be issued when contracts are finalized, and half will be issued pending a mid-year review of stated outcomes. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Executive Office of Public Safety and Security will work with grantees throughout the 12 month grant period to provide ongoing feedback, technical assistance and other support.
This initiative complements the Administration's allocation of a total of $8 million in funding to support an estimated 4,000 summer jobs for at-risk youth across the Commonwealth. The funds represent $6 million in YouthWorks funding administered by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and Commonwealth Corporation, along with $2 million in Federal Byrne Grant funding that has been directed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to fund summer jobs. Earlier this year, Governor Patrick also launched Summer Corps 2011, an effort that brings academic support and civic engagement opportunities to approximately 900 middle school-aged youth.