Frederick Douglass wrote that “it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” In those famous words lies the best crime-fighting strategy that a society can have. When we adequately invest in our youth, we prevent crime. When we build strong children, we prevent them from coming into the criminal justice system later on, as broken men and women.
The investments will reach 100 of New York’s most venerable youth and family service organizations in East Harlem, Central and West Harlem, Washington Heights…
This week, I stood with our partners at 14 community-based organizations to announce a major investment totaling $58 million for services to support young people and build stronger, healthier families. Through my Office’s Criminal Justice Investment initiative, which was created using criminal forfeiture funds obtained through settlements with banks for violating U.S. sanctions, I am investing $45.9 million in grants for the creation of “Youth Opportunity Hubs” and an additional $12 million in grants to help existing organizations grow and expand their services. The investments will reach 100 of New York’s most venerable youth and family service organizations in East Harlem, Central and West Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side.
Youth Opportunity Hubs
Recognizing that young people use supportive services at higher rates when they are easily accessible, we awarded nearly $46 million to the creation of five neighborhood-based “Youth Opportunity Hubs.” The Hubs run by Community Connections for Youth (CCFY), The Door, Henry Street Settlement, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Union Settlement will serve as a central location for comprehensive support and resources for children, teens, and young adults. The many services that will be offered include educational assistance, mentorship, employment training, trauma and substance abuse services, mental health counseling, housing and legal assistance, and recreational and arts programming. These multi-year grants are expected to serve more than 2,800 young New Yorkers each year.
Family and Youth Development
Numerous studies have concluded that family dynamics, education, and mental health, among other areas, influence justice system involvement. The $12 million in grants is being awarded to nine established community-based service providers: Association to Benefit Children, Eagle Academy,Educational Alliance, Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, Legal Aid Society, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Osborne Association, Sanctuary for Families, and University Settlement. These multi-year grants are expected to serve more than 4,700 families each year.