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As part of an effort to fight crime, Massachusetts officials want to increase funding for a statewide initiative to create opportunities for young men in high crime areas.
Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and other state and local officials got an update Tuesday on the status of the Massachusetts Safe and Successful Youth Initiative.
Darius Parker, one of 1,300 statewide who's received help from the initiative, said it has helped him with housing, a job and more.
“Even like changing my wardrobe so that I could go to an interview and be presentable,” he said. "Basically it helped me change my life around."
The initiative — which focuses on areas high in youth-related homicides and assaults — is targeted at men aged 14 to 24 identified as possible victims or perpetrators of violence.
"The Boston Police Department, in response to a string of particularly violent string of episodes, put together a list of individuals who they feared were likely to be the perpetrators of gun violence, victims of gun violence or the person behind the person driving the violence," explained Roy Martin of the Boston Public Health Commission.
The interagency program started in Boston in 2010 and is now operating in 11 cities across Massachusetts.