WORCESTER – The prosecution made its largest grant to a male mental health charity as part of a program that awards funds seized from drug offenses to community youth initiatives.
The office donated $ 50,000 in May to MENtour, a mentoring program for male adolescents based in Los Angeles and Sydney. More than $ 130,000 was given to various agencies in 2021.
The Drug Forfeiture Community Reinvestment program aims to create a supportive social environment to prevent juvenile offenders and increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system, according to a 2014 report on the project. Worcester’s juvenile justice system is still riddled with cases.
Worcester-born JuVan Langford, founder of MENtour, plans to use the money to start a chapter in his hometown.
“Young men are in crisis and remain underdeveloped because they do not have safe spaces to have vulnerable, deeper conversations about what is happening in life,” said Langford, a 2006 graduate of Holy Name Central Catholic High School.
The 33-year-old from LA plans to team up with local leaders “involved in the spiritual and emotional well-being of young men” in hopes of opening the Worcester chapter by early next year.
“We can’t tell these young men to do better if we don’t give them the space. Any great leader who goes out in the world and finds his medicine is very proud to bring that medicine home “Langford said, adding that it is an honor to return to Worcester.
Since its inception in 2007, the program has awarded over $ 1.3 million to various groups who have applied for funding through a grant application. Other organizations that have received funding this year include Southbridge Cops N ‘Kids, a summer program run by the Southbridge Police Department, and Yes We Care, a local nonprofit that supports and supports low-income families with children.