Since its founding, RYI has provided community-based, non-residential services to area youth and currently provides diverse programming that is designed specifically to meet the varying needs of the clients. RYI youth are African-American, Latino/a, Cape Verdean, Haitian, and Caucasian; mainly speaking English, Spanish, Portuguese Creole, and French Creole. The majority of our youth experience the following social conditions: poverty; teenage pregnancy; underemployment/ unemployment; homelessness or fear of losing their home; inadequate education; substance abuse; victims or witnesses of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse. Our diverse programs meet their diverse needs with the following programs.
Mural by Roxbury Youthworks participants
Goals and Objectives
Our agency's primary goal is to keep youth safe by strengthening their engagement with their families and community. Our staff members work within a positive youth development framework and utilize their knowledge of, and relationships with community resources, to access what is needed for a youth and his/her family.
1. Stabilize and reintegrate youth into the community coming out of court-ordered detention and treatment facilities.
2. Address the multiple needs of young people who have been commercially sexually exploited.
3. Work with law enforcement, child-serving public agencies and other non-profits to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through public awareness campaigns and passing of legislations.
4. Prevent youth and their families from becoming further system involved ie: keeping youth with their own families and reuniting them whenever possible.
5. Assist youth in achieving their goals through educational advocacy and support, enhancing their job readiness and finding them employment opportunities.
6. Provide basic needs assistance such as food, clothing, hygienic products and a safe place to gather.
7. Teach clients how to be active and engaged community leaders while finding opportunities for them to apply these skills.
District Offices (DOs)
RYI is the only provider of Boston's District Offices in collaboration with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) and has held this contract since its inception. Our District Offices (DOs) guide youth who are transitioning from DYS secure treatment facilities and residential placements back to their home and community. We have DOs in Roxbury, North Dorchester, South Dorchester, Hyde Park and Chelsea.
The Boston Girls' District Office
Five years ago, staff worked with DYS to separate the men and women and created gender responsive district re-entry centers. The Boston Girls' District Office is Boston's only female adolescent program that works exclusively with high-risk females reintegrating into the community from a detention center.
The GIFT Program
RYI's GIFT Program (Gaining Independence for Tomorrow) addresses one of the most disturbing issues facing young girls today: commercial sexual exploitation. RYI provides intensive Life Coaching to support young girls in their recovery from commercial sexual exploitation. While GIFT is a relatively new program, (2008) RYI has been working with this vulnerable population since 1998 in partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Lead Agency for the Dimock Street Area Office
Finally, we are the Lead Agency for the Department of Children and Families' Dimock Street Area Office. The Lead facilitates and monitors support, stabilization and placement services for over 200 youth and families served by this DCF office. We were the first minority-based agency in The Commonwealth to win an Area Lead contract.