WE ARE CAUGHT IN AN INESCAPABLE NETWORK OF MUTUALITY, TIED IN A SINGLE GARMENT OF DESTINY. WHATEVER AFFECTS ONE DIRECTLY, AFFECTS ALL INDIRECTLY.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From West Garfield Park to the West Loop, Back Of The Yards to Bucktown, Austin to Arlington Heights, COVID-19 is a danger to us all.
The only way to keep Chicago safe is to take care of each other.
We know that the communities we work with are most at risk– the people who live here are some of the most vulnerable right now. But even before this pandemic, our communities have been vulnerable. Decades of disinvestment, health disparities, limited community resources, violence, and racism (among other evils) make them especially at risk during COVID-19.
Violence in our neighborhoods hasn’t taken a break because of COVID-19. That’s why our teams haven’t rested either. Though it’s even more dangerous for them to be on the streets talking to people right now, they’re showing up, every day, on the front lines, trying to prevent the next shooting and mediating violent conflicts while also giving residents accurate information about how to stay safe and healthy and not spread this virus.
We urgently need your support to help fund the additional efforts our teams are putting in— not only continuing to build peace in the neighborhoods most affected by violence, but helping flatten the curve, to keep this virus from spreading throughout the city.
When Dr. King talked about the “inescapable network of mutuality” we all live in, he had no idea what we’d be going through as a city, a nation and a world right now. But his answer, we believe, would be the same:
Take care of each other. Because whatever affects one of us, affects us all.
7 WAYS NONVIOLENCE CHICAGO IS HELPING:
We anticipate an uptick in violence with the arrival of warm weather, so we have launched our summer violence reduction initiative early in partnership with Chicago CRED and Communities Partnering 4 Peace.
We are currently giving out 1500 meals, 1000+ snack boxes, 3000 boxes of groceries and over 1000 hygiene kits every week in our communities with the help of other local organizations.
We are bringing COVID-19 safety information to our communities who wouldn’t otherwise hear it or trust the information they have come across outside of our credible messengers. We are helping young people understand the danger and realize they are part of a community who needs everyone to take precaution.
We have over 50 team members actively working to provide outreach, victim services and case management in our communities six days a week and some team members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just because there is a pandemic doesn’t mean the violence stops. So we are still responding to shootings, mediating violent conflicts, and providing vital support.
We are taking care of our own staff. Team members who are able to, are working from home. We have also modified the hours for essential personnel to minimize unnecessary contact while still maintaining 24-hour coverage and crisis response. Our immunocompromised staff are working remotely as well. We are also providing personal protective equipment for our team.
We are continuing to collaborate with our CP4P partners and other outreach organizations to coordinate the efforts across Chicago and make sure there aren’t gaps in coverage. Together we are presenting a united front against violence and COVID-19.
We are working with street involved individuals—breaking down large gatherings so as to avoid negative police interactions. We want to prevent people from becoming involved in the criminal justice system. We are encouraging people not to gather and educating them on the dangers and necessary precautions they should take and how they can spread the word to keep their community safe.
5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP US KEEP WORKING ON THE FRONT LINES:
The majority of our funding is program specific—going to vital programs to keep Chicago safe. With this unprecedented crisis, we are experiencing an increased need for our support and we need extra funds to rise to the challenge.
Spread the word