Chelsea received a three-year, $250,000 grant to implement its Chelsea Thrives initiative, which focuses on reducing crime and improving public safety by 30% over 10 years. The Chelsea Thrives team created an evidence-based crime prevention effort that drew in groups from across the city to identify and serve families whose members were at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of crime. A successful pilot program led to intervention with more than 205 families, and crime dropped in Shurtleff-Bellingham and citywide.
A network of Chelsea-area agencies concerned with public safety, known as the Hub, now meets weekly to align strategies, identify gaps in prevention and enforcement efforts, and collaborate to identify and divert individuals and families with acute risk.
Chelsea Thrives set out to transform the Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood, which is considered a transient, high-poverty area. As the initiative developed, crime prevention became the top priority. The team shifted its shared result to focus on reducing crime while increasing residents’ perceptions of safety by 30 percent over ten years.
The team implemented a cutting-edge initiative, similar to an approach used in Canada, which focused on changing how leaders understand crime and city systems. They created a weekly public safety prevention task force of cross sector partners who offer preventative services to residents in need. Chelsea Thrives also created a youth effort, and a neighborhood improvement task force that worked with the City of Chelsea. The city also created a safety dashboard – featuring variables such as crime trends and youth opportunity – to assist with decision making. The city invested in Chelsea Thrives priorities in several ways, including by devoting a full-time engagement officer at the police department to run the Hub.
Chelsea Thrives aspires to transform the Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood from a transient, high-poverty area into a neighborhood where residents have the opportunity to escape poverty and the desire to stay long-term and invest their time and resources.
- The Neighborhood Developers (Backbone)
- Boys & Girls Club
- Centro Latino
- Century 21 D'Amico & Associates
- Chelsea Bank
- Chelsea Chamber of Commerce
- Chelsea Collaborative
- Chelsea Hunger Action Network
- Chelsea Revere Winthrop Elder Services
- Community Action Programs Inter-City (CAPIC)
- Metro Credit Union
- Massachusetts General Hospital Chelsea Healthcare Center
- Mitchell Properties
- North Suffolk Mental Health Association
- Salvation Army
- Stop & Compare Supermarket