Chicago community organizations push to reduce violence in 2023
CHICAGO - More than a dozen Chicago violence prevention groups, community and city leaders came together under one roof in South Shore to talk about what is being done to combat violence in their neighborhoods.
As they work to put a dent in the statistics, so far, 14 communities saw decreases in crime last year.
In some neighborhoods where violence prevention programs invest heavily, including North Lawndale, Austin, Englewood and West Pullman, gun violence declined by 35-45% in 2022.
Leaders of the non-profits and those participating spoke about the efforts at the South Shore Cultural Center.
"The violence has been spreading. We see it in North Side neighborhoods. We're seeing it in Rogers Park, and we see it downtown. The work that we are doing and the message that we will be talking about is a need for coordination," Jack Jomarron with Chicago Cred said. "The collaboration that we've shown in this last year, in the last five years and even before that is going to be paramount in defeating the pandemic which is violence in Chicago."
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"I started gang banging and stealing cars at the age of 13 and really didn't understand what I was getting myself into. After years had passed, I had already lost a lot of loved ones - it was so normal to me," Chicago Cred participant Keyon Pass said.
Chicago Cred changed Keyon's life. He has a job, and most importantly is on a positive path.
Right now the founder of Chicago Cred Arnie Duncan is talking about a five-year plan that involves $2.2 billion over the next five years to continue the work of violence prevention.