Hidden America: Bringing Safety to Chicago Streets

A priest in a Chicago neighborhood is helping to keep the peace.
3:01 | 08/04/13

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Transcript for Hidden America: Bringing Safety to Chicago Streets
finally tonight, a story that reminds us all about the power of hope. You may recall our diane sawyer's groundbreaking report last year about the plague of violence in chicago. There's some good news. The murder rate is now the lowest since 1965. Still, though, 235 people have been murdered this year. Tonight, in our ongoing series "hidden america," the story of one priest, in one chicago things around. Here's abc's alex perez. Reporter: Rival gang members battling on the court instead of the street. The prize at this championship game is not a trophy, but lives saved. Nobody wins in a shootout. We're trying to create an atmosphere that when something comes up and we talk it out rather than shoot it out. Reporter: Father michael pfleger started this ongoing weekly basketball league last fall in one of chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods. And violence is dramatically down in the community. Before this tournament, if you were walking down the street, what could have happened? I could have been jumped or shot to death. Murdered basically. Reporter: Pfleger says among his players, there hasn't been a single shooting. And he has gotten calls from four other gangs who want to become part of the tournament and encourage peace. It brought a lot of people together. People that you wouldn't imagine. Reporter: The players promise to give up their violent ways -- in exchange, pfleger helps them get a g.E.D., Job training, and even job placement at one of 100 companies that have partnered with the tournament. We say to them, you go back to shooting, the job's gone. Reporter: We first told you about the violence crippling this city during the peak of the epidemic last summer, when diane hosted this chicago violence summit with gang members, past and present. You're going to be the prey or you the predator. Which one you going to be? Reporter: That was also when we first met that irrepressible 7-year-old, ralph, who lost his grandmother to gang violence last year. Who showed us the fortress of locks and barricades he and his mother, deliah, lived behind just to feel safe. It'll be gang bangers running and shooting. Reporter: Ralph and his mother thought their prayers were answered when they moved to a new apartment to escape the violence, but it was even worse. Now, drug deals were happening right in their apartment building, exchanging cash for drugs through this tiny hole. These drug dealers and gang bangers make it hard on me and hard on kids. Reporter: Father pfleger stepped in. Ralph and deliah moved into his neighborhood. Hey, father pfleger! Fresh start. New friends. New school. Reporter: Father pfleger giving a tired little boy a chance to dream. And an entire community reason to hope. Champions. Reporter: Alex perez, abc news, chicago. Cause for hope. Thanks to alex perez. And for more information on how to help father pfleger and ralph and his family, go to our website, abcnews.Com.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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