Suffolk County DA’s Community Reinvestment Grant Will Help Two Nonprofits Doing Work in Charlestown

Last week District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced the distribution of $60,000 in grants to Suffolk County nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting the health and safety of the county’s residents.

Two nonprofits doing work in Charlestown were among the 13 nonprofits to receive grants between $2,500 and $5,000 through Hayden’s Community Reinvestment Grant (CRG).

“Throughout my career as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I’ve witnessed young people with promise veer onto dangerous paths due to lack of opportunity and guidance,” said Hayden. “We fail these children when our intervention starts in a courtroom.  We achieve a more just and equitable legal system when we help communities provide interventions, services and opportunities necessary for youth to succeed.  We can accomplish far more together than we can alone.”

The Charlestown Coalition/Turn It Around, an agency that works to improve the health of Charlestown residents in all senses of the word, was named a grant recipient this year.

The community-based organization strives to end cycles of addiction, poverty, violence, and racism in Charlestown by increasing the accessibility of education, recovery support services, mental health resources, and more.

The Charlestown Coalition’s Turn It Around program was formed in 2012 by Charlestown youth with the initial mission of raising awareness about substance use and providing support for Charlestown youth.

Hayden said Turn It Around has been a longtime juvenile diversion partner of the Suffolk District Attorney Office’s Juvenile Alternative Resolution (JAR) program.

Over at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), an agency Hayden said has been helping improve the lives of 100,000 low-income individuals across Greater Boston each year through comprehensive services, is another grant recipient doing work in the neighborhood. 

Each summer ABCD’s satellite office at the John F. Kennedy Family Community Center in Charlestown helps find summer job employment for teens. 

Through funding from the CRG grant ABCD and the John F. Kennedy Family Community Center will help provide stipends for youth participating in the nonprofit’s WorkSMART work readiness and mentorship program.

The grant  program draws from cash and assets seized from drug traffickers to support organizations preventing youth violence or providing substance use prevention or treatment in Boston, Revere, Winthrop and Chelsea.  State auditors have repeatedly praised the Suffolk County process for turning “the profits of crime into something positive for the community,” while carefully documenting all forfeiture-related income and expenditures.

“I look forward to visiting each of these partners over the coming weeks to thank them for their invaluable work on behalf of our communities,” said Hayden. “Public safety relies on equity, opportunity, engagement and tireless dedication to our youth.  Each of these organizations – as well as so many other vital community agencies and nonprofits – have life changing impacts on our young people and the communities we serve.”

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