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Promoting growth, in the community, every day

Community Advocacy
Community Building

Boston Public Health Commission
In partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Project RIGHT has been contracted to develop numerous programs that focus on substance abuse, eliminating health disparities, infectious disease control, neighborhood wellness and BPHC’s Violence, Intervention and Prevention program.

Community Development

For more than a decade Project RIGHT has been influential in the direction of the Blue Hill Avenue Initiative Task Force. We anticipate groundbreaking on tens of millions of dollars of investment in housing and commercial development between 2008 and 2012.

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Initiatives

Grove Hall Safe Neighborhood Initiative / Weed and Seed
Recognized by the US Department of Justice, the Grove Hall Safe Neighborhood Initiative (GHSNI) is a collaborative effort between Project RIGHT, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Mayor of Boston, the Boston Police Department and neighborhood residents to prevent and reduce violent crime, drug use and gang activity.

Safe Havens
Project RIGHT, Inc. is heavily investing its organizational and human resources in developing ‘safe havens’ for our youth and families. Our strategy encompasses working with resident associations/groups and tenant associations within Greater Grove Hall to strengthen existing and future services to the youth and families of our community. Youth and families requiring services are referred to the ‘safe havens’ where there are or will be service providers. Our goal with this initiative is to be able to offer comprehensive/wrap around services to our families.

These three “safe havens” once fully functional and supported with the necessary resources will provide the Greater Grove Hall neighborhood with three major multi purpose facilities for after-school and year round youth and family programming.

  • Jeremiah E. Burke High School: This $42M renovation began in Winter 2006 and has been completed.
  • Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School: Celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School offers elementary and middle school and out of school time programming that provides academia, athletics and prevention and intervention services for school age children and their families.
  • Grove Hall Community Center: Offering a wide range of services including sports leagues and prevention and intervention services for youth ages 12 – 24.

We are also currently working on sighting additional ‘safe havens’ along the Humboldt Avenue and Harold Street corridor of Grove Hall. This initiative, called the Grove Hall/Humboldt “Community Building” Initiative entails working in partnership with the Boston Ten Point Coalition, MassHousing, and several tenant associations based along the Humboldt and Harold Street corridor, and additional community based organizations to strengthen our community’s youth outreach and violence prevention and intention services. By further developing additional ‘safe havens’ we will be able to ensure that the necessary prevention and intervention youth services are provided.

Multi-unit Housing Initiative
This initiative focuses on multi-unit apartment buildings that have been identified as hot spots. These hot spots are areas where acts of violence, drug trafficking, prostitution, and other public safety concerns have occurred.

 
Projects

Green Space Improvements
Green Space improvements have been undertaken in a number of areas within Greater Grove Hall with the advocacy and expertise of Project RIGHT staff, our membership, and resident volunteers. Green Space improvements have occurred at:

  • Ceylon Field & Park Renovation
  • The Holborn Street tot lot built and designed, a few years ago at an approximate cost of over $375,000,00. with the advocacy of the Holborn, Gannett, Gaston, Otisfield Betterment Association.
  • Pudding Stone Park (corner of Seaver Street and Blue Hill Avenue) renovation almost completely done by the efforts of the residents of the Pasadena, Supple, Columbia Road Neighborhood Association.
  • The Intervale Street tot lot is currently being completely rebuilt with the advocacy and design work by the Intervale/Normandy Street Residents Association.
  • The complete renovation of the schoolyard at the Trotter Elementary School with the assistance of the school personnel, parents, and the advocacy of the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association.
  • The complete renovation of the schoolyard at the Quincy E. Dickerman School with the assistance of school personnel, parents, Project RIGHT, Inc. staff support, and the assistance and expertise our Board President – Mr. John E. Barbour Jr.
  • The completion of new green space on Crawford Street that provides space for over 250 people at any time during Spring, Summer, and Fall by the Crawford, Howland, Ruthven, Wenonah, Waumbeck BlockWatch Association and the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association (under the Roxbury Hill’s  Land Trust).
  • The complete renovation of Quincy Park on the corner of Quincy Street and Blue Hill Avenue.
  • We are currently working on developing green space in the Maple and Schuyler Streets area of Grove Hall. We hope to start a formal process with residents in early Spring 2008. Possible uses for green space include a totlot or passive green space.
 
The Need

Within Project RIGHT, Inc.’s service area data complied show that Grove Hall is a relatively young neighborhood, with approximately 2,909 juvenile males, and 2,888 juvenile females. Of the total households with families (4,123) 2,977 are household with children. Single Parent families with children are 2,089. There is a huge disparity of large after school, afternoon/evening programs and weekend programming to serve the huge youth population in the Grove Hall neighborhood. Data from the Boston Police Department show that 33% of all juvenile crime occurs between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (the Wisdom of Our Choices, Boston’s Indicators of Progress, Changes and Sustainability 2000).

It is well known in the law enforcement community that between two hundred and fifty (250) and three hundred and fifty (350) ex-offenders (formal prison inmates) are currently being released back into our community on a monthly basis. Our organization is currently working on reentry programming with the Office of the Attorney General, the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, the Boston Police Department, the Department of Youth Services, and others in this endeavor to provide a safety net for our returning community members.

There are currently over 5,000 units (of which 3,500 are federally subsidized) in multi-unit apartment buildings within Grove Hall. Several of these multi-unit apartment buildings have had persistent illegal problems, which have not been addressed despite numerous long-term complaints by tenants and neighboring residents. A recent crime analysis report, completed by the Boston Police Department B-2 identified that over 31% of crime within Project RIGHT, Inc.’s target area occurred in or around these multi-unit apartment buildings. Both the property/management companies and the Boston Police Department have not been able to stop all the illegal, negative activities in these targeted buildings. These problems include ongoing drug trafficking and extensive drug use, prostitution, violence, heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic at all hours, loitering and other public safety and health problems. Project RIGHT, Inc.’s organizing efforts on public safety issues will be utilized as a model to create a broad based partnership that focuses on eliminating these problems. Our organizing campaigns provide residents with a broad based approach and partnerships with a wide range of potential options that will persuade enforcement, legislative, advocacy, mobilizations and/or other appropriate actions to pressure city and state elected and appointed officials to make effective systematic changes to the quality of life in these multi-unit apartment buildings in the community.

Project RIGHT, Inc.’s organizing campaigns to expand the “safe haven” capacity in Grove Hall is an important vehicle in addressing youth violence while linking it to efforts to decrease the lure of negative and criminal activities among youth. Organized community input, from neighborhood resident and youth will be critical to ensuring that the full potential of these projects be realized. While law enforcement and prosecution efforts have been initially successful in temporarily breaking the cycle of violence, we will not be able to turn around the upcoming wave of young teenagers from becoming the next at-risk pool of recruits for perpetuating violence if we do not substantially increase the prevention and intervention capacity in Greater Grove Hall. Even though, gang violence and drug trafficking ten years ago significantly impacted Grove Hall.

A critical foundation for our success is grass roots activism on the part of residents and strong participation in the political system. Many of our individual residents take part in legislative issues at the city and state level. Getting equal access to government officials and resources is a top priority of our training and support to members. We work on the basis that we are an unfunded jurisdiction of the city’s political/civic structure. We work to ensure that our community receives its fair share of resources to maintain an excellent quality of life in our target area. We continue to make gains in educating our leaders about the electoral process, about electoral reform and in using and analyzing lists and election information.

If your would like to hear more about Project RIGHT, Inc. and the Greater Grove Hall community please contact us at your convenience:

Jorge Martinez, Sr.
Executive Director
320a Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02121
617-541-5454 (main number)
617-427-7160 (fax)
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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