Hearing eyes resources for families hit by violence

More than 60 Boston officials, victims advocates and family members touched by street crime met at Boston City Hall to discuss resources available for families struggling in the wake of violent crime.

City councillor Charles Yancey and Councillor At-Large Ayanna Pressley heard testimony from almost 20 community service providers as well as representatives from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Boston Police Department who outlined their long-term commitment to families who have lost loved ones in the streets of Boston.

The councillors commended the work of Boston Center for Youth and Families supervisor Chris Byner, who directs a team of 30 street workers to prevent violence through conflict mediation and neighborhood stabilization in the wake of a crime. Citing an annual public school dropout rate of 1,500 high school students and the closure of several city-run community centers, Yancey proposed to hire as many as 300 additional street workers using funds from the Boston Police overtime budget to target at-risk teens.

“If we’re going to prioritize resources, it seems like we should be putting resources where they are preventing violence,” Yancey said.