One approach to addressing issues of public safety is to prevent crises before they happen. This is what the HUB is about. It brings together two key stakeholders – local law enforcement and community organizations – to address the immediate, long-term, and unique needs of community residents, including housing insecurity, health care access, substance abuse, mental health concerns, and more. Keyla Jackson heads up the Jamaica Plain Hub and joined us along with Isaac Yablo, PhD candidate and researcher at UMass Boston, to share about JP Hub’s efforts, hurdles, and successes toward building a safer Jamaica Plain.

Keyla JacksonKeyla Jackson has worked in the Community Services Department at MassHousing for six years.  Her work focuses on public safety and community engagement.  Prior to MassHousing, she worked at Northeastern University where she created, developed and planned strategies for outreach to students and student organizations. Additionally, she worked with students on building leadership skills and cultivate a passion for affecting positive social change through workshops, trainings and retreats and oversaw and managed the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Graduate Fellowship program. 

In her current role, Keyla works with law enforcement, city and state agencies and community partners and stakeholders to increase the capacity of housing and neighborhood residents to prevent crime and violence within their communities and to provide intervention and prevention services and resources.  

Through a strategic partnership with the Boston Police Department and community partners, she launched Hub and COR.  At weekly Hub meeting, multiple service providers engage in a scheduled meeting to address situations involving individuals and families who are struggling with complex issues, spanning multiple service disciplines, not necessarily connected to service and who are facing immediate and compounding risks of an incident of harm.  Its purpose is to mitigate risk within 24-48 hours and connect individuals and families to services.  There are plans to replicate this program in every police district across the city of Boston. Keyla earned a B.S., an M. S. and an advanced graduate certificate from Northeastern University. She is the very proud mom of a teenage son and daughter.

Isaac YabloIsaac Yablo is a researcher with many years of experience in data collection & analysis, program development and mixed-method social research within the Greater Boston area. Skilled in providing assistance to social service agencies, law enforcement and local government officials in the areas of data collection and maintenance, public safety, collaborative risk-mitigation, tracking crime across communities, urban & community sociology & social policy, entrepreneurship & public health. He is an exceptional researcher, communicator, leader, and problem-solver adept at cultivating and maintaining professional relationships with community leaders, government stakeholders, donors and social social service agencies. Isaac received his Bachelor’s degree from Howard University, his Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.