Logo for: Connecticut Opportunity Project

Roca Young Mothers

Roca’s mission is to be a relentless force in disrupting incarceration, poverty, and racism by engaging the young adults, police, and systems at the center of urban violence in relationships to address trauma, find hope, and drive change.

Roca celebrated two years in Hartford in October 2023. Since replicating its program and intervention model in Hartford, the team has worked tirelessly to respond to the unique needs of the young women and their children in the community. Roca Hartford serves young women, most of whom are mothers, at acute and elevated risk of gun violence. In Hartford, the team is seeing a growing frequency of women involved in, impacted by, and instigating violence; separation of children from their mothers; sex trafficking and intimate partner violence; and violence sparked by social media.

In response to these challenges, Roca Hartford is revising its safety protocols, which includes hiring additional staff; tightening collaborations with partners, including with law enforcement; and focusing on deterrence through Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) skill development and wraparound services. The team doubled the size of its staff in the past year to accommodate the growth of the program and the growing need in the community. Kat Hannah joined the team as Program Director in April, and a Program Manager, Youth Work Supervisor, and Youth Worker joined the team in the fall. In the year ahead, the team will prioritize standing up its transitional employment program as key to its work supporting young people towards the long-term behavior change necessary to transform their lives.

Roca Hartford is grateful to the CTOP team for its partnership and support, and for providing thought leadership that elevates the challenges of disconnected and at-risk young people, including the young women Roca serves.

Sunindiya Bhalla, Executive Vice President of Women & 2Gen

Learn More