The Dorchester Youth Collaborative is closing after 40 years of serving Boston's most at risk youth.
Since 1981, the organization has helped teens who live in neighborhoods with high rates of violence, unemployment, and social instability, and who are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice and social service systems without interventions and support.
"It has been our privilege and an honor to work with the wonderful youth of Boston and their families over the years," Executive Director Emmett Folgert said in a statement announcing the decision.
The DYC board voted to close the agency permanently because the coronavirus pandemic has prevented the organization from carrying out its programs for the past year, according to Folgert.
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"For a year it has been extremely difficult, often impossible for us to operate our programs safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Folgert said in a statement. "We are not closing due to a lack of funding, health, or personnel issues. We are closing due to the pandemic."
The DYC introduces teens to education, enrichment, health, sports, performance arts, and employment opportunities, according to its website. Projects help promote their psycho-social development.
Folgert said the DYC staff is doing its best to help find Boston's youth and their families support and opportunities from other local agencies.
While the DYC is closing, Folgert also said he and other staff members don't plan to stop helping in the community.
"While the agency will close, as individuals we will continue to advocate for youth from under resourced communities," he said. "We will try to find ways to help create the opportunities they deserve when safety allows."