Youth-serving nonprofits denounce termination of Next STEPS

The Next STEPS Mentoring Program Coalition denounced the abrupt elimination of the Next STEPS Mentoring Program by the Department of Probation, which would impact over 200 young people in fifteen different New York City Housing Authority developments.

On August 24, 2023, the DOP sent a letter stating the termination of contract with Next STEPS that was to be implemented on August 31st. The letter cited the reason for termination was the lack of data, among other issues. The termination of contract prompted the coalition to write a letter to DOP voicing concerns over such abrupt notice and the effects it would have on the youth being served. The letter also called for an investment in evaluation of the model. In response, some programs received an extension and are able to run until Sept. 21 with no additional funding, while others had to close immediately.

“The huge impact here means that we’re removing resources from communities that we say are the most vulnerable. That in and of itself just seems completely backwards. The communities that we say need help and resources the most are the communities that are losing our resources… As a trauma informed agency, it definitely was not trauma informed. And so it has caused us to fall into this space of abandonment, where we’re abandoning young people in the program” said said Peleya Patterson, vice president of youth justice programs at Good Shepherd Services.

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Source: NYN Media