By Ben Forman and Amy Dain , MassINC, on November 2, 2015
The Holyoke SSYI Program is a powerful example of how successful Gateway City initiatives fuse leaders and leadership styles together to overcome stubborn challenges. SSYI is a carefully coordinated effort to reach the community’s most difficult to reach young men—those who are “proven-risk” for violence. Making the most of a new state grant program, Holyoke leaders developed a strategy for embracing these young men with relentless outreach and a safe space to deliver comprehensive education and training, transitional employment, and case management and counseling services.
This case study is part of a series examining innovative Gateway City initiatives. Each paper explores the unique dynamics of change in small to midsize urban communities, where resources are limited and social challenges are complex. These case studies capture the basic mechanics of the initiatives. Then they attempt to distill universal lessons for leaders by looking at how communities work cooperatively to make their change efforts a success.