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2021 COVID Recovery Violence Intervention Grant awardees announced

This grant is a one-time funding opportunity that will be awarded to community-based violence intervention programs.

Mayor Kim Janey, the Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Public Safety (OPS) today announced the six awardees for the COVID Recovery Violence Intervention Grant. This grant is a one-time funding opportunity that will be awarded to community-based violence intervention programs for the highest risk youth and young adults in Boston, in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of community violence. The COVID Recovery Violence Intervention Grant’s goal is to address the health disparities in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic, through funding community violence intervention programs in areas that experience disproportionate levels of violence.

In total, the COVID Recovery Violence Intervention Grant will distribute $600,000 to the six Boston nonprofits that best detailed their goals of expanding opportunities for police or gang involved youth, ages 13 to 24, that reside in neighborhoods where violence has persisted or escalated during the pandemic. This funding will be used to complement an additional $400,000 in supporting Street Outreach, Advocacy and Response (SOAR) Boston and the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI), key programs in Boston's evidence-based approach to reduce recidivism, intervene in violent activity, and create pathways for active, gang-involved youth and young adults in the city. This funding is available ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌American‌ ‌Rescue‌ ‌Plan‌ ‌Act.‌ ‌

“It’s the duty of every one of us to ensure a bright future for our children - and that starts with promoting safety, justice, and healing on our streets today,” said Mayor Janey. “I applaud these awardees for the work they’ve already done to protect youth in our communities and to address inequities in healthcare. I know this funding will strengthen the efforts to help our City’s vulnerable children and teens.”

The COVID Recovery Violence Intervention Grant has prioritized applicants with staff capacity, organizational history, and violence intervention strategies that will successfully deliver the desired outcomes of this grant. By prioritizing high-need communities, the City can ensure an equitable recovery for all Boston residents. The awardees are as follows: 

  • Inner City Weightlifting 
    • ICW's mission is to amplify the voice and agency of people who have been most impacted by systemic racism and mass incarceration. They partner with program participants through case management and careers in and beyond personal training. It’s a culture and community in which power dynamics are flipped, social capital is bridged, and new leaders emerge in the fight to combat long-standing inequities. 
  • ROCA Boston
    • Roca’s mission is to be a relentless force in disrupting incarceration, poverty, and racism by engaging the young adults, police, and systems at the center of urban violence in relationships to address trauma, find hope, and drive change.
  • Boston Uncornered
    • Boston Uncornered redirects the entrepreneurial, networking and leadership skills of gang involved youth from violence and incarceration to obtain a college credential and family-sustaining wage—driving positive change in our neighborhoods.
  • Youth Options Unlimited
    • YOU empowers young people from court-involved or at risk backgrounds to succeed in the workforce, in the community, and in their lives.
  • Youth Connect 
    • Youth Connect is an innovative and unique program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) that provides violence prevention, intervention, advocacy and mental health services to young people who are involved in the criminal justice system and their families.
  • BMC’s Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP)
    • Helps guide victims of community violence through recovery from physical and emotional trauma. Using a trauma informed model of care, VIAP empowers clients and families, facilitates recovery by providing services and opportunities. 

“This funding is critical in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on the violence intervention programs helping our communities,” said Chief of Boston’s Health and Human Services, Marty Martinez. “This grant will help build up and expand the services for our youth to thrive financially, emotionally and physically.”

“As we continue working towards an equitable recovery from COVID-19, the safety and well being of our youth is of the utmost importance,” said Director of Public Safety Dr. Rufus Faulk. “This funding is crucial in the strengthening of youth serving Boston non-profits that are both working to keep our young people safe and building towards a brighter and more equitable future.”  


The Mayor’s Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the largest cabinet in the City with ten departments and offices that span work across multiple communities all striving to create a healthier Boston. Committed to promoting and ensuring the health and well-being of the City’s most vulnerable residents, HHS provides a wide array of critical programs and services all while advocating for systemic change to tackle root causes of some of our most pressing challenges in the City. HHS departments work with and for the populations with the greatest needs in our city, including Veterans, youth, persons with disabilities and our aging residents. 


The Mayor’s Office of Public Safety (OPS) studies, develops, and initiates violence intervention and prevention programs and policies. OPS works to tackle the challenges and problems around violence in our neighborhoods by coordinating the delivery of services and resources administered by various agencies, departments, and cabinets across the City of Boston.

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