|$500,000 to go to youth development programs across Boston
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross today announced the recipients of Boston’s Police Youth Development Fund. The City of Boston has doubled last year’s funding, and this year, $500,000 will go to the Youth Development Fund, which provides $25,000 to 20 organizations which work to provide development programs for Boston’s youth, ensuring they have access to programs that give them more opportunities to thrive and succeed. In addition, the City has applied for funding through the Commonwealth’s Shannon Community Safety Initiative to further support multidisciplinary approaches to curb youth violence through coordinated prevention and intervention programs.
“In Boston, we work every day to make sure our young people are lifted up and given every opportunity to succeed. That means through education, through development programs, and through having a safe, stable environment that will give them the resources and opportunities they need,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Boston Police are a major partner in this, and I’m proud that today we’re able to fund 20 great organizations that will make a lasting difference in the lives of Boston’s youth for years to come.”
Under the leadership of Mayor Walsh, the Boston Police Department has prioritized community policing as an effective way to reduce crime, while building trust with the community. The Boston Police Department received national recognition from the Obama Administration in 2015 as being one of the top cities in the nation that is leading the way on community policing. Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh announced the formation of the Bureau of Community Engagement at the Boston Police Department, which is charged with overseeing a citywide effort to further strengthen community policing in Boston, and focused on ways to build relationships and trust between law enforcement and residents, creating new and innovative partnerships, and promoting inclusion and diversity within the department. Commissioner Gross appointed Superintendent Nora Baston to serve as Bureau Chief for the Bureau.
“As Commissioner, my number one goal to ensure all residents in Boston are safe — and that includes Boston’s young people,” said Commissioner Gross. “We have the biggest opportunity to change lives by providing resources and support to Boston’s youth, and through these programs, we are able to positively impact lives and create a better city for all.”
As part of Boston’s overall community policing strategy, the Boston Police Department prioritizes relationships with youth and the community as the key to building trust and creating safe neighborhoods. This starts with an emphasis on daily interactions on the streets and in school classrooms, and includes proactive prevention and diversion for at-risk youth and their families. In addition, the department provides positive pathways for our youth through programs such as Operation Exit and My Brother’s Keeper. The BPD has strong partnerships and year-round district activities with residents through Coffee with A Cop, National Night Out, youth and police dialogues, teen police academy, flashlight walks, Shop with a Cop, and more.
“Our community is a caring one, one who seeks the best for its children, but caring for our youth comes with many responsibilities – not only from our families but through neighborhood partnerships and person to person interactions,” said Candice D. Gartley, executive director All Dorchester Sports and Leadership. “All Dorchester Sports and Leadership sees their role in the community not only as a place to provide athletic activities and academic opportunities but also as a place for children to feel safe and cared for near their homes. With the City’s help and the Mayor’s steadfast commitment of these grant dollars to organizations such as ADSL, we will continue to build and create more opportunities for youth and young adults in our organization and our city.”
“I was thrilled to make the Youth Development Fund my initial budget ask in my first term and am delighted to partner with Mayor Walsh to support the Fund and Shannon Grant to help dozens of programs expand their capacity to serve, empower, and educate our young people,” said City Council President Andrea Campbell. “The jobs, skills, and relationships young people build through these programs are critical to breaking cycles of inequity, especially for young people of color, and ensuring they reach their God-given potentials.”
A full list of recipients for the Youth Development Fund grants are as follows, with each recipient receiving a $25,000 grant: