The City of New Bedford received $382,068 for 2017 to support at-risk youth through the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative, which targets gang violence in the state.
Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett announced the release Tuesday, Jan. 10 of $5.7 million in competitive grant funds to 15 communities, including New Bedford, and 11 local research partners across the state, including New Bedford, to bolster their efforts combating gang violence. The announcement was made at the Statehouse.
“Shannon grants support critical programming that provide education, training and employment direction for young people at risk of becoming involved in youth violence or gang activity,” said Governor Baker. “Our partnership with cities and local organizations enables crucial outreach to vulnerable youth, diverting them away from gangs and towards positive and productive futures.”
New Bedford receives the Shannon grant through the H.O.P.E. Collaborative. “We work in collaboration with our public schools and local service providers to build relationships with at-risk youth in the city,’’ said Kelley Cabral-Mosher, LICSW, program director, H.O.P.E. Collaborative/Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. “We work to increase their academic success, make positive, healthy life choices and strengthen their connections with their schools. It is our hope that by building relationships with our young people and their families, we will provide them with choices and resources to create a peaceful future.’’
“The Commonwealth’s cities are on the front lines of combating gang violence, and the state-local collaboration supported by Shannon grants is an important tool to help them impact the lives of at-risk youth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We all have a role to play in protecting our young people from gang activity, and this funding supports important outreach that can keep teenagers on a path to success.”
The grants provide funds to communities that demonstrate high levels of youth violence and gang problems, a comprehensive plan to work with multi-disciplinary partners and a commitment to coordinated prevention and intervention strategies. Funded strategies include social intervention and opportunity provision programs, as well as gang task force personnel costs and overtime.
“The communities and partners who take part in this program have given themselves the tools necessary to make a serious impact on youth violence and gang activity,” said Secretary Bennett. “The disruption of illegal activity makes these communities safer while getting young lives back on track.”
In the photo from left: Lt. Amos Melo, New Bedford Police Department; State Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral; Gov. Charlie Baker; Chief Joseph Cordeiro, New Bedford Police Department; and Kelley Cabral-Mosher, LICSW, program director, H.O.P.E. Collaborative/Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. The photo was taken Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Statehouse at the announcement of the Shannon grants.