NEW HAVEN LAUNCHES STREET OUTREACH WORKERS PROGRAM
(7/16/2007) Partnership Aimed at Reaching At-Risk Youth
NEW HAVEN- As part of the Mayor’s Youth Initiative, the City has partnered with the New Haven Family Alliance (NHFA) to launch the Street Outreach Workers program. NHFA will coordinate and manage this program as outreach workers, with their own experiences on the streets and credibility in the City’s targeted neighborhoods, work to engage the 100 youth most at risk of either causing or being the victims of violence and crime.
This program, modeled after successful predecessors in Providence and Boston, will develop and implement a collaborative, multi-faceted approach to reduce and prevent youth violence. All effective street outreach efforts to prevent violence will be supported by comprehensive and inclusive prevention strategies.
Aside from creating relationships with at-risk youth, street outreach workers will also provide access to high-risk conflict mediation and a number of mental health, job training, work placement and other resources to help them begin more positive paths in life.
“The goal here is to give our young people choices,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “NHFA will hire the workers, train them and supervise them in the field, providing them the resources they need to really make a positive impact on these young people who are otherwise disengaged and don’t see their own potential. Through this program we hope to get these young people connected to people, services, training, jobs and other positive that are missing from their lives right now. Working together we can help them open doors and start on a new path.”
The street outreach workers are not an arm of the police. While the New Haven Police Department will support the efforts of the outreach workers, they are separate entities.
“The Outreach workers are individuals who are familiar with street life, form relationships with youth at high risk for violent behavior, mediate conflicts and try to head off violence,” said Barbara Tinney, Executive Director, New Haven Family Alliance. “They’ll have a presence on the street, work non-traditional hours, connect youth to the people and resources they need to resolve conflicts and be available to them 24 hours a day for any support they may need.”
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