Safe & Successful Youth Initiative



As part of our effort to reduce youth violence in our community United Way of Greater New Bedford has served as Lead Agency for New Bedford’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, known as SSYI since 2017.

Funded by the MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services and operating in 14 cities throughout the Commonwealth, SSYI is an evidenced-based program that combines public health and public safety approaches to reduce crime and violence in communities with high rates of youth crime.

In 2020, SSYI was named a Promising Practice by the US Department of Juvenile Justice; a recognition that SSYI has been statistically proven to lead to effective public health outcomes for young adults involved in the criminal justice system.

SSYI serves proven-risk young adults ages 17-24, identified by local law enforcement to be gang-involved, perpetrators of weapons offenses or engaged in frequent illegal activity.  

Once youths are referred to the program by local law enforcement, SSYI reaches out to the young adults, including those who are reintegrating back into the community after incarceration and offers them a chance to redirect their lives through education, employment and behavioral health services.
Services provided to program participants by SSYI’s dedicated team of highly trained staff, include:

  • Street Outreach and Engagement
  • Needs Assessments and Individual Service Planning
  • Behavioral Health Assessment and Clinical Support, including therapeutic mentoring
  • Intensive Case Management Support for things such as housing, child care and other needs
  • On-Site Adult Educational Instruction and HiSET (formerly a high school GED)
  • Career Planning and Job Readiness Support
  • Employment services, including subsidized work experience   

In addition, NB SSYI works in close partnership with other organizations to ensure that program participants have access to a broad range of community services and a  pathway to employment and a healthier and more productive life.

Program Location

SSYI is located at 1213 Purchase St. Suite 305, New Bedford



To get more information about the New Bedford SSYI Program, contact Brendan Johanson at or by calling 774-5107822 ext. 101