Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence Receive State Grants to Stem Youth Gang Violence

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.)

Haverhill and Methuen will share nearly $300,000, while Lawrence will receive $250,000 to combat youth violence.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration awarded the Sen. Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative grants to 15 cities across the Commonwealth. According to the state, the money “supports regional and multi-disciplinary approaches to youth violence intervention, prevention, enforcement, prosecution and reintegration services.” It is targeted to youth between the ages of 10 and 24 living in a community identified as “a hot-spot and who are at-risk or high-risk of gang involvement.”

“There is no single agency or approach that can achieve this goal. The partnerships built through the Shannon Community Safety Initiative are an important part of our work creating safer communities,” said Baker.

Last year, the Haverhill and Methuen Police Departments worked with such partners as Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill, Leaving the Street Ministries, MakeIT Haverhill, Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, North Shore YMCA, UTEC, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and YWCA of Northeastern Massachusetts. Lawrence worked with ACT Lawrence, Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, Change the Play, Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund, Lawrence Methuen Community Coalition and Family Services of Merrimack Valley, Merrimack Valley YMCA and YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts.

The Shannon grants are awarded through an annual competitive application process and administered by the Office of Grants and Research, part of the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

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