Embracing The Challenge
At the Boston Ten Point Coalition we are convinced that together we can end patterns of violence in Boston. To do this it is critically important for the health of Boston communities that faith-based institutions, leaders and representatives from all corners of our communities cooperate in city-wide crime reduction efforts and youth intervention. Read about our “Community Cluster Model” below to learn more about the innovative ways BTPC is partnering for a better future.
Boston is a city of great promise and prosperity, but also a city challenged by poverty and inequity. Amongst the 50 states, Massachusetts has ranked high in household inequality, and Boston in particular ranked high in inequality among 50 of the largest cities in the United States. In areas where these inequities are concentrated youth are at higher risk of adopting non-productive or even destructive behavior patterns. As a grassroots group BTPC serves youth living in Boston areas that contain pockets of poverty, as a result an overwhelming majority of the populations we serve; a.) are living at or below 125% of the federal poverty level or; B.) are living in public housing developments. A small yet significant portion of the youth we serve are “couch surfing” in friends’ homes and are homeless.
While the youth and neighborhoods we serve have strong, loving and resilient families, data shows that persistent violence can destabilize the fragile fabric of struggling communities. This is what makes the unique work of the Boston Ten Point Coalition so important. We address often overlooked and socially complex youth dangers that are gateways to conflict, and inequity. Our collective solutions uplifts community at its foundation and harnesses the human resources needed to address the multitude of challenges that impact the lives of our youth and communities.
• Our focus is our communities “troubled youth,” youth that other agencies most frequently are unable to serve.
• We operate in collaboration with other community-based, governmental, and private sector institutions that are also committed to the revitalization of the families and communities in which our youth are raised.
• Our capacity to serve is multi-layered and as an organization that is rooted in faith, we help to promote the notion of faith leadership going beyond the congregation to serve the broader community.
BTPC serves youth and families
Regardless of religion, but faith has played a central role in the founding of the organization and access to faith communities provides great benefits to the populations we serve. Faith communities breed a sense of hope and offer the nurturing yet structured principles and environment that many youth need. Our affiliations across faith are just one example of how the diversity of the partnerships within our coalition provide youth with avenues of support that our non-profit alone could not provide. We believe this kind of collective aspiration defines BTPC and is what makes the “Boston Miracle” continue to work.
Below are some of the sectors that reinforce our work.
- 7 Schools/Colleges
- 5 Community Centers
- 8 Green Spaces
- 47 Faith Institutions
- 54 Organizations
Ten Points Plan
- Promote and campaign for a cultural shift to help reduce youth violence, both physically and verbally within the Black community by initiating conversations, introspection and reflection on the thoughts and actions that hold us back as a people; individually and collectively.
- Develop, as churches, a curriculum regarding Black and Latino history with an emphasis on the struggles of women of color to help young people understand that the God of history has been and remains active in all our lives.
- Acknowledge and respond to the impact of trauma as a physical and emotional reality on the lives of our young people and their families as a direct result of violence.
- Build meaningful relationships with high-risk youth by recognizing their reality on their terms and in their spaces.
- Focus specially on connecting and rebuilding the lives of youth who have been incarcerated and stigmatized by mainstream society.
- Provide youth advocacy and one-on-one mentoring for high-risk youth.
- Provide gang mediation and intervention for high-risk youth with the goal of establishing cease-fires and building the foundation for active peace.
- Establish accountable, community-based economic development projects that are organic visions of revenue generation and demystify the accumulation and power of money through financial literacy.
- Build partnerships with the social/secular institutions of our city, with suburban and downtown communities of faith to help provide spiritual, human and material support.
- Provide ongoing training for individual churches along with a systematic program in leadership development to create, maintain, and sustain community mobilization.
In 1992, symptoms of rampant youth violence spreading through Boston caught the attention of leading Clergy and lay leaders when conflict erupted at the funeral of a young gun shot victim. A gang-related shooting and stabbing spilled into Morning Star Baptist Church turning the funeral service into a battleground.
Clergy and lay leaders responded by mobilizing the Greater Boston community to make violence prevention and youth reformation a higher priority both in church and in the larger community. That collective effort produced the intial Ten Point Plan, a detailed plan to redirect the lives of Black and Latino youth, especially those at high risk for violence, drug abuse, and other destructive behaviors.
From necessity; The Boston TenPoint Coalition was born. Click the link above to view the achievements of our original plan and also our renewed 2016 vision and Plan to meet the challenges of youth at risk in todays society.