Boston Taking Steps to Address Gun Violence After Latest Deadly Shooting

Part of the City’s efforts to address the problem is funding community events in neighborhoods most impacted by violence.

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As many families were settling in at home Sunday night, gunshots rattled neighborhoods across Boston, which rattled the nerves of nearby residents.

In Dorchester, police said a man was shot on Centre St. and later died at a local hospital where he was dropped off.

Downtown, another person was injured in a shooting on Kingston Street.

In Mattapan, two men were shot on Wildwood Street; one of them died and the other was critically injured.

“I really just want everyone to live at peace. I don’t like this," said Eduardo Torres who lives in Mattapan. "I have a baby inside. I’m definitely moving, definitely going to leave out of here because it’s not safe.”

Another resident in Dorchester who did not want to be identified echoed that sentiment.

“Since I’ve been on this street it’s probably been about three occasions where gunshots were fired on this street. I gotta get me and my little ones out of here because it’s a scary situation,” they said.

Investigations are ongoing by Boston police into the shootings on Sunday night, and authorities have asked for the public's help in solving the cases. Anyone with information has been asked to call homicide detectives at (617) 343-4470. Those who would like to anonymously share information may do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).

Part of the City’s efforts to address the problem is funding community events in neighborhoods most impacted by violence.

During a virtual information session Monday, the mayor’s Senior Advisor on Community Safety, Issac Yablo, explained the city is offering grants up to $7,000 for events that bring people together this summer in specific parks, streets and housing communities. Many of the designated locations are in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury.

“The reason why these areas have been selected, they are the areas according to police department data where a lot of the community violence is occurring and has historically occurred,” said Yablo. “Obviously a large part of violence prevention and when we are working to create safe communities is the feeling of safety and perceptions of safety that residents have within their communities. My initial thought of the grant, what I wanted to call it was ‘Taking back our community.’ The idea here is to activate these spaces that have been so heavily stigmatized, that residents know they have to deal with it every single day and historically there may not have been the support that’s been needed from the city to create social activities in these spaces that promote peace.”

The city in investing $100,000 in this initiative. Grant applicants must be a civically involved neighborhood association, registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tenant organization, or a grassroots community-based organization. The applicant’s organization and proposed events must also be resident-led, have direct contact and connection with residents in the specific areas listed, and have a track record of bringing together residents. The grant period will be from June 26 to Sept. 1, 2023. Interested organizations are encouraged to apply by May 22, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

Click here for a link to the application and list of designated locations.

“It should be the organizations and the people that are in these communities that experience this every day that are empowered by the city to do these things,” said Yablo. “The goal of the funding was to get funding into the hands of those people so that they can activate their community not so that the city is doing it. I think a part of Mayor Wu’s overall strategy is to have a healthy and safe Boston. These communities that have been historically marginalized need to be healthy and safe just like the communities that are well off.”

Yablo is also engaging residents through community meetings in different neighborhoods throughout the month of May.

“The point of this community listening tour is to one: hear what constituents want in terms of a summer plan and two: to present the work that I’ve been doing to build out not a summer specific plan but a plan that is hyper relevant during summer months but is a year round plan that is also an extension of this more broad community engagement process that myself and other people from the mayor’s office and the health commission are working to build out that centers community and is going to be anchoring community in the work that we are doing moving forward,” said Yablo.

“This is just the beginning.”

Part of the City’s efforts to address the problem is funding community events in neighborhoods most impacted by violence.

“Violence, the best way for us to combat is to lean into it in ways that are going to address the issue, so creating opportunities for organizations to apply for funding to develop concepts and programming is going to be crucial to help reduce the violence this summer,” said City Councilor Julia Mejia.

“I would think that we really need to think outside of the box in terms of programming. So we know that we’re dealing with a mental health crisis post the pandemic so any programming that helps address the social emotional and mental health well-being of our constituents is key.”

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