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Boston Community Centers
 Thomas M. Menino, Mayor
 Evelyn Riesenberg, Executive Director

Boston Community Centers began over two decades ago. At that time, three public school buildings were kept open after school to operate programs aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. A City Ordinance in late 1972, formally created the department known as Boston Community Centers. This new department expanded the original concept to include educational and recreational programs for general community use.

Today Boston Community Centers provides educational and recreational programming at 20 public school buildings, 21 municipal buildings, 19 swimming pools, and one beach. In addition, Boston Community Centers offers a variety of human services for Bostonians of all ages. These include: Boston Youth Connection, Childcare, Summer Camps, Girls' Centers Programs, Streetworker Program, Adult Education, After School Tutoring, Boston Community Middle School, City Roots, GED, Boston Neighborhood Basketball League, the Pools, Camp Joy, Senior Citizen Programs, and the Summer Lunch program. Boston Community Centers is the largest youth and human service agency in Boston.


Streetworker Program

Drawing on years of experience conducting outreach to Boston’s at-risk youth, Boston Community Centers has hired and trained a network of streetworkers whose role is to find "hard to reach" high-risk youth and to help them with issues of substance abuse, court involvement, teen violence, sexuality, etc. through a service delivery system that includes intervention, prevention and advocacy. The targeted youth tend to avoid familial and social support and do not make use of traditional assistance sources such as recreational facilities or other youth serving agencies.

Three senior streetworkers coordinate, facilitate and support the efforts of streetworkers throughout Boston’s neighborhoods. The senior streetworkers are directly supervised by the Streetworker Program Manager who oversees all streetworker initiatives.

The objectives of the Streetworker Program include:

establishing an informal body among the streetworkers in each zone to facilitate knowledge sharing and trouble shooting
maintaining a referral and resource system of services for youth
responding to and intervening in crisis or emergency situations citywide
establishing communication between the streetworkers and agencies providing services to youth
maintaining relationships with the Boston Police Department
providing intensive service to over 2,000 high-risk youth

In addition, school-based streetworkers work in public high schools to assist youth and their families with educational issues, career enhancement and conflict intervention between students and/or administrators.

[Source – Excerpts from the Boston Community Centers' Brochure]


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