Reemphasizing the commitment of the Administration to stopping youth violence, Governor Deval Patrick and Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz visited Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Programs (SSYI) in Springfield and Boston this month.
Launched in 2011, SSYI has provided over $18 million in grants to the cities of Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Worcester and Springfield. Since then, in these cities, youth homicides have dropped 25% and youth victims of aggravated assaults have dropped by 19%.
Speaking frankly, a young Springfield man addressed a crowd and noted that it was the second chance he’d received in the program that allowed him to be alive today. In Boston, Police Commissioner Bill Evans spoke passionately about how important connections to caring adults can be in the lives of many of the young people he sees today. The Commissioner went on to share that, after the loss of both his parents at a young age, it was other adults in his community that took an interest in him and pushed him to succeed.
In his remarks to young men, local providers, and public officials in Springfield, Governor Patrick said:
“All of us are hungry for a safe and secure community, including every one of these young men. And their leadership and kindness and vision and humanity is something I saw on clear display [when we spoke] in the other room. And that is called up and celebrated and encouraged in this program. And that’s really all it’s about.”
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