Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that one of the region's leaders for providing comprehensive outreach for at-risk youths - Three Rivers Youth - will soon be operating the new City Curfew Center at their Oakland site located at 200 North Dithridge Street. The nonprofit organization ran the City's former curfew and truancy center Downtown and has been tasked with creating a more welcoming environment for youths so that they will be more apt to seek available help and support.
"Our goal here is to positively affect our young people who are at risk of falling into the trap of gangs, drugs, and violence," Ravenstahl said. "This means turning our focus on the reasons why they are staying out late and connecting them with resources that will address these issues and ultimately improve their lives and make our communities safer."
Youths found to be in violation of the City's curfew will be brought to the center and immediately assessed by intake counselors. The Center is set to open May 1. Ten staff members, made up of a supervisor and outreach counselors will be identifying which services youths need. Such services may include family-based support and counselors will ultimately coordinate an action plan for connecting youths with appropriate community-based services.
"We're very excited to be launching this new partnership which we believe is the perfect fit to further the Mayor's vision of fostering a safer environment for our youths and communities," said Peggy Harris, president and CEO of Three Rivers Youth. "We believe that moments of crises can become catalysts for change in the lives of our youths and the perfect opportunity for intervention."
The nonprofit organization brings to the table 129 years of experience in serving at-risk youths and their families and more than 15 years of experience in operating the former combined curfew and truancy center. After a competitive request for proposal process which closed Feb. 9, a group of 15 committee members - comprised of nine community members, police leadership, and youth outreach experts - chose Three Rivers Youth and will be meeting with them quarterly to help measure their success and continually improve the program.
Committee members emphasized the need for Three Rivers Youth to be receptive to requests from community leaders to provide street outreach in their neighborhoods.
"Our agency believes that the success of this center will be determined by the creation of strong partnerships within the community," Harris said. "To that end we will have outreach counselors in the communities and schools engaging youths during all hours of the day, not just at night."
The Mayor committed to bringing back the center, which was closed in 2002, and has made a $500,000 commitment to do so. Last year, the Mayor hired more than 270 at-risk teens after bringing back the Pittsburgh Summer Youth Employment program in 2007.
To ensure that City youths and residents are aware of the curfew and understand how it applies to them, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers will be visiting community meetings and schools explaining the curfew.
School Year (September 1st to June 30th)
After 10:00 pm and before 6:00 am on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
After 12:00 midnight and before 6:00 am on any Friday and Saturday.
After 11:00 pm and before 6:00 am on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687