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Promoting growth, in the community, every day

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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