Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $237,000)
Established in 1985 and serving the greater Bridgeport region, RYASAP (Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership) works to ensure the safe and healthy development of youth, young adults, and families by actively engaging organizations, public officials, and community leaders around issues that matter most to the community. RYASAP serves the most at-risk disengaged and disconnected youth and adults experiencing the impact of poverty, trauma, mental health, and addiction in the greater Bridgeport region and throughout Connecticut through direct service, advocacy, and capacity building.
RYASAP serves families in Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut with an estimated population of 144,399 and is located within one of the wealthiest counties in the country. The city is 40.8% Hispanic or Latino, 4% white, and 35.1% Black or African American, a demographic breakdown reflected in its school district, which is 82% Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino. The communities(s) that will benefit from their work include low-to moderate income youth and young adults (16-25). Children from families at or below the 185% of the federal poverty level are considered low-to-moderate income. The current demographic is approximately 76% male and 24% female, with ethnic backgrounds of 58% Black/African American and 42% Hispanic/Latino
RYASAP has operated StreetSafe Bridgeport (SSB), an evidenced-based violence interruption model using outreach workers/credible messengers, as a violence and gang intervention and prevention program since 2014. StreetSafe Bridgeport (SSB) aims to serve youth ages 14-24 already or highly at-risk of gang-life and participating in gun violence. In a coordinated and deliberate strategy with community, government (probation, prole) and nonprofit partners, the grant recipient will identify youth most-at-risk of engaging in gun violence and gang activity and design community and evidenced-based youth development interventions to interrupt the young person’s path to violence and/or incarceration.
In addition to this direct service work, their focus includes continued data-collection around school-suspension/intervention, arrest, contact-tracing for firearm incidents, gang involvement, school disengagement, and family history. The intervention process is extremely important to ensure that youth are not targeted punitively; rather, early intervention is balanced, restorative and ongoing in partnership with the youth and his/her family.
In August of 2019, RYASAP’s StreetSafe Bridgeport (SSB), convened a Youth Gun Violence Task Force to address the ongoing epidemic of gun violence injury, shooting and homicide in Bridgeport, CT.
- Medical and mental health issues. Technology involving offender management/inter-agency. Disaster preparedness continuity of operations for correctional facility.
- Brawley Police Department Gun Violence Initiative
- Safer Together: A Regional Collective Impact Initiative by Hospitals and CBOs to Reduce Community Violence in Southeastern Virginia