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Federal grant to address children’s exposure to violence

Associated Press | 10/19/2010, 9:20 p.m.

    Federal grant to address children’s exposure to violence

    Boston is one of eight demonstration sites for a new U.S. Department of Justice initiative focused on addressing children’s exposure to violence. The city has received $160,000 as part of the “Defending Childhood Initiative “to develop a multi-year plan to prevent and reduce the impact of exposure to violence in homes, schools, and communities for children 0 to 17.

    “The Boston Public Health Commission will spend the next eight months working with the Boston Medical Center and a broad cross-section of organizations and institutions to develop this critically important plan to protect our children,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “This is an opportunity for sectors that have not usually worked together to learn from one another, share ideas, and implement an action plan to reduce children’s exposure to violence in Boston.”

     Attorney General Eric Holder launched the initiative to address the exposure of America’s children to violence as victims and as witnesses.   

    The Boston Public Health Commission has enlisted 40 organizations, ranging from the Boston Public Schools to Boston police and emergency medical services, to hospitals, state agencies, victims service providers and foundations to help develop the plan. The plan they develop will be submitted to the Department of Justice by June 2011. Meanwhile, the group will identify no-cost and low-cost strategies that can be implemented immediately.

    “I am grateful that these partners are committing their time, their ideas, and their expertise to tackling this important issue,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Building peace in the city is rooted in reducing children’s exposure to violence.”

    The other seven demonstration sites are Portland, Maine; the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Montana; Grand Forks, N.D.; the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners in Ohio; the Multnomah County Department of Human Services in Oregon; the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota; and Shelby County, Tenn.

    SBA spurs Mass. economy with $363 million worth of loans

    Massachusetts small business owners received 2,149 loans totaling $363 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2010 (the period from Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010) through its business loan programs according to Massachusetts SBA Director Robert H. Nelson.  SBA loans range in size from $100.00 micro-loans to $4 million real estate loans.

    The SBA guaranteed 1,735 loans through its flagship 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program for a total of $240 million. These loans are available to purchase or construct real estate, equipment and inventory, to finance fixtures and leasehold improvements, and for working capital.

    The Certified Development Company/504 Loan Program posted its best year ever with 244 loans totaling $116 million. These loans are used to construct, purchase or rehabilitate fixed assets such as land, buildings and machinery and equipment.

    SBA backed 134 America’s Recovery Capital loans totaling $6 million. This was a temporary Recovery Act program designed to pay existing debt. The SBA was also responsible for 36 micro-loans totaling nearly $1 million made through its Micro-loan intermediaries.

    “Our statewide partnerships with 144 different lending institutions delivered much-needed capital to more than 2,000 businesses in Massachusetts this year,” said Nelson.  “The fact that we’re ranked number three nationally attests to the fact that we worked hard to make sure Massachusetts’ small businesses and our lending partners were educated about all of the different SBA programs and the ways we can help small businesses to start, grow and survive.”

    Associated Press