NEW BEDFORD — United Way of Greater New Bedford has named Hewitt Joyner Director of Youth Violence Prevention & Reduction Initiatives.
Joyner joins the United Way team after serving as the Senior Program Coordination at MissionSAFE in Boston where he oversaw a variety of youth programs that focused on life skills and job readiness with high-risk gang involved youth, according to a news release.
He began his career working with gang involved youth in the 1990’s; first as a Street Outreach Worker then Program Manager with Boston Cease-Fire, an initiative then hailed as the “Boston Miracle” due to the unprecedented drop in violence, including a period of more than two years where there were no youth homicides in that city.
Leveraging his experiences and success in Boston, Joyner moved to California and created a gang program based on the Streetworker Program. He also developed a Cognitive Behavioral Training for gang involved youth, reducing their recidivism rate from 89percent to 11 percent, the release said.
“Hewitt has been a great addition to the United Way team,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President and CEO of United Way. “His experience with high-risk youth in other communities will enable us to develop effective approaches to combating youth violence in Greater New Bedford. Our community needs these efforts now more than ever.”
United Way of Greater New Bedford recently became the lead agency for the New Bedford Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI). As the Director of Youth Violence Prevention & Reduction Initiatives, Joyner will use similar techniques in New Bedford, as in Boston and California, to combat, and hopefully prevent, youth violence, United Way officials said.
He will be responsible for implementing, supervising, and evaluating the New Bedford SSYI and Shannon Programs. These programs use multi-disciplinary approaches to combat gang violence through coordinated programs for prevention, intervention, law enforcement, prosecution, and reintegration.
The United Way of Greater New Bedford is a non-profit organization that was established in 1953. The United Way brings together volunteers, community leaders, and corporate partners to provide quality programs and initiatives that achieve positive results. Its service area, which has a population in excess of 194,000, includes the City of New Bedford and surrounding towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham. To learn more about United Way, visit www.unitedwayofgnb.org.