A baseball great is teaming up with law enforcement officials and community groups in a multimillion-dollar plan to reduce violence against kids. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Baseball legend Joe Torre spoke about growing up in a violent Brooklyn household.
"I saw him threaten my mom with a revolver, and I saw the results of what he was doing to her. And I never shared it with anybody else in the neighborhood," he said.
Torre hopes his life story can change the lives of young people today.
"My dad was a New York City detective, and he was very abusive to my mom, created a lot of fear in the house. And I carried that into my adult life," he said.
Torre's Safe at Home Foundation and dozens of other community groups were awarded nearly $60 million by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
The money comes from forfeiture funds and settlements with international banks for violating U.S. sanctions. The money will now be used to help at-risk children in Manhattan.
"So you are really providing them with opportunities before they have an chance of getting into any kind of trouble with the justice system," said Julie Shapiro, executive director at The Door.
About three-quarters of the money, $46 million, will be used to create five "Youth Opportunity Hubs" in Washington Heights, on the Lower East Side, and in East, Central and West Harlem. Each hub will have social space and offer programs, from mental health services to recreational activities. The remaining money will help existing organizations specializing in family and youth development.
"On the front end, we really have an opportunity to change the lives of young people. It is a better investment than when they get older and find themselves in trouble. It costs a lot more money to try and turn that situation around," said David Banks of Eagle Academy.
Vance says there's a lot of stress young people live with, and they need as much help as they can get in dealing with life's problems.
"Our fabric as a city and as a country and as a society is being pulled very thin. And we need to do all that we can to support each other, love each other and make sure our kids know as they go forward, they are not alone," Vance said.
The DA says he has another $200 million that he's looking to award to community groups.