Following our ABC News' summit on gang violence in Chicago, "Hidden America: Don't Shoot, I Want to Grow Up," we wanted to provide our viewers with resources to learn more about the community organizations we profiled, as well as how to get help or become involved with these organizations that deal with violence prevention.
CeaseFire Illinois: This Chicago-based, anti-violence program uses a public health approach to stopping violence by helping to change behavior. "Violence is learned and transmitted and we must stop the transmission," said Tio Hardiman, Director of Ceasefire Illinois (@TioHardiman). Ceasefire's national office -- which recently adopted a new moniker, Cure Violence -- employs trained outreach workers known as violence interrupters who detect and interrupt violence before it starts.
Dr. Gary Slutkin founded CeaseFire in 1995 and independent studies have shown that shootings are down as much as 40 percent in Chicago communities where Ceasefire operates. Programs modeled after Ceasefire operate in more than 15 US cities and seven countries.
For more information, visit the website here: http://cureviolence.org/
United for a Cause: Dawn Valenti, a former gang member who turned her life around, helped found United for a Cause in 2008. It is a community-based activist organization that provides services and resources to women, children, and families that have been victimized by violent crimes. U.F.A.C. works on behalf of women who have lost children and loved ones to violence, inside and outside of the home, and provides support to aid in the healing process from violent crimes, medical outreach, court proceedings, and much more.
For more information, visit the website here: http://www.unitedforacause.org/
Little Black Pearl: Almost 20 years ago, founder Monica Haslip opened up her home on the South Side of Chicago to urban youth so they could express themselves through art. Today she has a state of the art facility in the city where kids can show their work and benefit from the sale of their art. LBP provides a safe environment, positive role models, various creative activities and job training.
For more information, visit the website here: http://blackpearl.org/little-black-pearl
Roseland Youth Voices Against Violence: After losing her son to gun violence in 2003, Gwen Baxter founded this organization so that fewer mothers would have to feel her pain. Youth Voices provides after school programs including tutoring and recreation. It's also a place for young people to take pride in their community, talk to each other about issues that affect them and learn conflict resolution.
For more information call Gwen Baxter at (773) 629-8804.
UCAN Chicago: Fueled in part by the shooting death of his adopted son Tommy in 1992, Tom Vanden Berk is the CEO of UCAN, an organization designed to help get kids off the street through mentoring and other services. UCAN's mission is to build strong youth and families through healing, education and empowerment.
For more information, visit the website here: http://www.ucanchicago.org
Kids Off the Block, Inc.: Diane Latiker's non-profit program, in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, has served more than 2,000 kids as a mentoring site and a safe haven away from the streets. Young people show up at her center for tutoring, job training and field trips. Latiker was featured on the ABC show "Secret Millionaire" where a basketball court was installed on a vacant lot next to her building. She now hosts cookouts, games and music events in the new space.
For more information, visit the website here: http://www.kidsofftheblock.bbnow.org/index.php
Safer Foundation: For more than 40 years this foundation's mission has focused on helping people with criminal records to become employed, law-abiding members of the community. President Diane Williams says of her clients, "if they do the right thing going forward we reduce the number of victims and we also improve the safety of all the communities in which we live so it makes sense for us to do this."
For more information, visit the website here: http://www.saferfoundation.org/
A Safe Haven: Neli Vasquez Rowland serves as co-Founder and President of this not-for-profit foundation that helps renew communities and rebuild lives. With a holistic approach, the foundation helps to provide services such as affordable housing, addiction treatment, education and job training. A Safe Haven has served over 40,000 people since 1994, including families and veterans. It has more than 22 locations throughout Chicago area and is helping people to transform their lives.
For more information, visit the website here: www.asafehaven.org
Young Lions of Judah: This organization, founded by Executive Director Nathaniel Hanserd, gives support to at-risk juveniles by helping them understand that the past does not determine their future. The goal of YLJ is to stop street violence through thought analysis, critical thinking and conflict resolution. Programs at YLJ allow the youth to reconnect with society so they can bring value to themselves, their families, and their communities.
For more information, visit the website here: http://www.theyounglionsofjudah.org
Becoming a Man: Youth Guidance's school-based counseling and mentoring program that promotes social, emotional and behavioral competencies for at-risk African American and Latino youth from Chicago's toughest neighborhoods. Founder Tony Di Vittorio is a professional counselor who oversees this program in 15 Chicago Public Schools.
For more information visit www.youth-guidance.org or view the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJHHjBRA7zQ&feature=plcp