The South Street Youth Center was founded in 1996 by a collaborative body of community groups, elected officials and residents of Jamaica Plain to respond to gang activity, violence, and drug dealing in and around the South Street Development. A variety of initiatives aimed at residents of all ages, including substance abuse counseling, drop-in hours for mothers and babies, senior coffee hours, and the youth center, addressed the needs of South Street residents for safety, health promotion, and access to resources. Violence is now sharply reduced and the development is a safer place to live. Initially funded by the Boston Housing Authority, the youth center became self-funded in 2001 and remains at the South Street Development at no cost.
ACHIEVEMENTS: The impact of South Street Youth Center programming is demonstrated by the for 3 cohorts of youth we have tracked since 2007:
An important contribution to the stability of the youth center was the hiring of Program Coordinator Corey Stallings that brings a deep passion for digital media to the South Street community and Assistant Program Coordinator Tanairi Liriano, who brings a wealth of knowledge of youth development.