This year’s Baltimore Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. back-to-school resource fair at Cumberland and Carey Park introduced a new resource to the neighborhood. YAP, which partners with Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) as an alternative to youth incarceration, recently became Baltimore’s Penn North Safe Streets program provider.
Safe Streets works as a public health approach to reducing shootings and homicides in communities in Baltimore City. Safe Streets staff are men and women who were formerly justice-involved, which lends to their credibility and ability to establish relationships and build rapport to change behaviors and norms of individuals with backgrounds similar to theirs.
Families met their Penn North Safe Streets team. They also heard from YAP DJS Green Cadets work readiness participants, who offered back-to-school advice in hopes of getting kids to avoid mistakes they’ve made.