Grant to Support Intervention with the City’s Highest-Risk Young Men

Roca, Inc. Recipient of Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation Grant to Work with Malden Police Department – Grant to Support Intervention with the City’s Highest-Risk Young Men

Roca, Inc. recently announced that it has received a $25,000 grant from the Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation. The grant will go towards Roca’s Intervention Model for High-Risk Young Men in the City of Malden, and will support Roca’s growing partnership with the Malden Police Department. Specifically, Roca will continue to work with the Malden Police to reduce violence, crime, and justice system involvement among the city’s highest-risk 17-24 year-olds and increase employment among this group.  “The Mayor and I realize that identifying and working with at-risk youth to help them understand the impact that their actions and decisions may have on their future will go a long way with helping them to achieve success and will reduce crime,” said Police Chief Kevin Molis. “We are grateful to the Bayrd Foundation for this opportunity.”

Bayrd Foundation President Henry Kezer echoes Chief Molis’ enthusiasm about the partnership. “When we met with Chief Molis we learned that he was uniquely aware of the challenges facing Malden. When he described how Roca operates, we knew that it was uniquely structured to meet those challenges in an innovative and practical way,” said Kezer. “We believe that this project will demonstrate an alternative tool for law enforcement, the community, and for the individuals whose lives would otherwise be lost or destroyed.”

Roca’s successful intervention model includes two years of intensive services and two years of follow-up support for young men from Malden who have been involved in the adult or juvenile court systems, have no GED or diploma and no consistent employment history. Roca will provide these young men with intensive street outreach, case management, cognitive restructuring activities, programming in education, life skills, pre-job training, subsidized transitional employment and job placement. This invention model will move these young men out of violence and poverty and into educational, employment and life skills programs.

Roca’s intervention model is designed so that graduates will have no incarcerations and retain a job for four years from their enrollment. The Malden Police Department and court system will provide referrals of high-risk young men to Roca. “We are honored to receive the Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation’s support for this important work, and are thrilled to continue our strong relationship with the City of Malden and the Malden Police Department,” said Molly Baldwin, Roca’s Founder and CEO.  “This kind of community collaboration between the social service agencies, private philanthropy and city government is a shining example of what it takes to reduce violence, poverty and incarceration in urban communities. We sincerely thank Mayor Christenson, Chief Molis and the Bayrd Foundation for their bold and smart leadership on these issues.”

Roca serves the most disenfranchised and disengaged youth including young parents, school drop-outs, gang members and those involved in the court system in Boston, Chelsea, Malden, Revere, Everett, Lynn, Springfield, and throughout Hampden County.  Since its inception in 1988, Roca has helped more than 20,000 high-risk young people make positive changes in their lives. This year, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Roca launched the MA Juvenile Justice Pay-for-Success project, which changes the way governments, nonprofits and philanthropists finance state social and human service efforts. Pay-for-Success aims to reduce crime and incarceration and increase employment among justice system-involved young men statewide.

“I continue to be grateful to the Bayrd Foundation for their steadfast commitment to the City of Malden,” said Mayor Christenson. “This generous grant will provide our City a critical opportunity to maintain its partnership with Roca as we continue our efforts to prevent violence and improve public safety.”

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