Haverhill Receives Grant to Combat Gangs

HAVERHILL — Mayor James Fiorentini, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, state Rep. Andy Vargas along with other local and state officials announced a two-year state grant to Haverhill to help prevent and address youth violence.

The grant will pay to bring the highly successful UTEC program to Haverhill to combat gang participation and recruitment and is part of the state's Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI), a coordinated intervention strategy focused on “proven-risk” young men who are most likely to experience violence.

UTEC, a Lowell-based organization, plans to employ two "streetworkers" to build relationships with gang-involved and at-risk youth in city neighborhoods, a transitional coach to provide intensive mentoring and to assist with transportation, education and workforce development services. The funding will also provide mental health counseling through NFI Massachusetts.