Increase the livability, affordability and safety of Greater Boston neighborhoods
Researchers from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government published stunning statistics which showed that from 2006 to 2009, 39 percent of all of Boston’s homicides and 52 percent of all fatal shootings took place within a small (3.42 square mile) area—neighborhoods that also have high rates of poverty and disinvestment. In response, the Boston Foundation created StreetSafe Boston, a five-year, $18 million special initiative focusing on the geographical area identified by the study.
StreetSafe Boston represents a unique model approach to curbing youth violence and helping young people—a model that is being studied by cities across the United States and around the world. StreetSafe trains and deploys streetworkers who are committed to developing direct, constant connections with proven-risk young people. Once a streetworker gains a youth’s trust, he connects him or her with other StreetSafe staff members who can help to provide everything from education to housing to health care and job training.
StreetSafe Boston’s goals are specific and measurable. The initiative seeks to decrease gang-involved shootings by 60% in the five neighborhoods where most shootings take place—and decrease youth homicides by 30% in those neighborhoods. In addition, the goal is to build relationships with youth on the street and link them to life-supporting services.