Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $327,312)
Youth gangs continue to have a significant adverse impact on youth, families, and communities across America. A growing number of communities have adopted OJJDPs Comprehensive Gang Model, a multistrategy, multidisciplinary approach that has proven to be effective in reducing gang activity. The fiscal year 2016 Comprehensive Antigang Strategies and Programs solicitation provides funding for localities to enhance coordination of federal, state, and local resources in support of community partnerships implementing the following antigang programs: primary prevention, secondary prevention, gang intervention, and targeted gang enforcement.
The goal of Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) Project East is to reduce gang violence and prevent gang initiation among high-risk youth ages 12 to 17 in Worcesters Eastside neighborhoods. SSYI Project East addresses a major geographical, age, and programmatic gap identified in Worcesters Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, which was the result of a comprehensive community gang assessment and citywide strategic planning process. SSYI Project East will bolster Worcesters Comprehensive Gang Model to direct outreach work and case management to up to 50 high-risk youth who live in the Eastside neighborhoods and are on the Worcester Public Schools Gang Protocol List. This project will complement the identification, outreach, and case management services through a targeted deterrence and pulling levers model.
The Worcester Police Department is the lead agency and has more than a decade of experience administering grants and coordinating cross-sector partnerships to implement the Comprehensive Gang Model in Worcester. Friendly House will be the lead street outreach and case management agency. Specialist partners include the Worcester Public Schools, Worcester Community Action Council for high-tier employment expertise and Clark University as the research partner. Clark University will track all required performance measures using a web-based, secure Sales force database. Data will be collected from outreach workers, case managers, and school personnel, as well as school and police records.