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Governor Patrick Champions Youth Initiative in Worcester

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

Governor Deval Patrick visited Worcester to advocate for his Safe and Successful Youth Initiative and met with the local youth and community leaders at Straight Up Café.

“Initiatives like this one in Worcester are critical to ending the cycle of violence that devastates communities,” Patrick said.  

The Safe and Successful Youth Initiatve was established in May 2011 and has grown to eleven total Safe and Successful Youth locations across Massachusetts.

Patrick took a guided tour of the café at 795 Main Street in Worcester’s Main South neighborhood, which is run by Straight Ahead Ministries and works to help local youth and provide opportunities to juvenile offenders.  

“We must continue to support these programs at the highest levels possible. I encourage the legislature to quickly approve the additional $6 million in funding to keep these programs going,” Patrick said.

Worcester was one of four stops during the Governor’s statewide tour. While in the city, the Governor met with local community leaders and members of city government.

Straight Up Café is a shining example of the program’s success and has worked to employ youth and connect them with a beneficial community.

In 2011, Worcester was awarded $710,065 to identify and provide case management to at-risk youth, connect them and their families to activities and services and provide ongoing monitoring and supervision.

“The Safe and Successful Youth Initiative has been critical to the collective efforts of the Worcester Police Department and our partners to stem the tide of youth crime and gang violence in our city,” said City Manager Michael O’Brien. He added that the initiative’s three main tenets are critical – job opportunities, access to education, and access to health and behavioral services.

Scott Larson, president of Straight Ahead Ministries spoke at the event. Since May, his successful cafe and community center has been providing a safe and helpful environment for area youth.

Straight Up Cafe also offers its own in-house roasted coffee and breakfast and lunch items, and the team is committee to changing and improving the neighborhood.

 

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