UTEC Receives $750,000 Federal Grant to Help Transition Gang Members Back into Community

Haverhill Rep. Andy Vargas speaks as Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Gov. Charlie Baker and Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro look on at the opening of UTEC in Haverhill in 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Lowell-based UTEC, which operates an anti-violence program in Haverhill, has been awarded a $750,000 federal grant.

The money will be used to develop pre- and post-release programs. UTEC will also create specialized programming for at-risk young adults after release, including educational, workforce development, transitional coaching, counseling and family engagement, according to a statement from Congresswoman Lori Trahan who advocated for the grant.

“For more than 20 years, UTEC has provided vital services to our most underserved young adults in Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill. This funding will go a long way towards helping justice-involved young people reenter society, and it will assist them and their loved ones in getting back on their feet,” Trahan said.

UTEC CEO Gregg Croteau said the programs reduce repeat offenses.

“In partnership with all our correctional facility partners, we have seen the continuum of services from incarceration through reentry to be essential for these young people’s social and economic success. We are very thankful for this opportunity to expand our work empowering young people in correctional facilities and through their transition back to our communities,” he said.

UTEC came to Haverhill in 2018 and opened its city headquarters in June 2019 at 241 Winter St.

Trahan added, “UTEC has been leading the way on these efforts for a long time, which is why they have consistently been recognized nationwide as a model agency and why they’re the perfect recipient for this award.”

The grant was awarded through the Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program administered by the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

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