OFFERING PATHWAYS TO PEACE
We’re from the community and here to help you reach your life goals.
We operate several paid, trauma-informed wellness and job programs that can help you build a new life away from the streets. Cognitive behavioral interventions and social-emotional learning infused in our programs help participants regulate emotions and develop problem-solving and conflict resolution skills.
Our staff and program mentors live in or grew up in the neighborhood and have lived through similar experiences with gun violence. They’ve worked hard to change from a life of violence to a life of peace. And they’ve helped many other community members do the same.
As participants build their life of peace, they’ll have the opportunity to travel as part of our Cultural Mentoring & Identity Trips. Staff and participants visit museums and other cultural landmarks, participate in volunteer service projects, and build long-lasting friendships. Plus, participants are invited to our wellness events. Practicing different self-care activities supports participants as they create the foundation for a life of nonviolence.
“You come in here, you close knit. It’s like family.”
HOPE (Helping Our People Excel)
HOPE introduces participants to mental health supports, increasing motivation to change and ultimately resulting in a referral to additional needed services. The HOPE program is a unique partnership between our street outreach and reentry teams which allows participants to receive intensive mentorship and nonviolence training, while establishing their personal safety, developing pro-social behaviors, maintaining basic daily norms, and achieving self-created goals. As such, HOPE is a critical precursor to more formal services and the long-term goal of employment in the legal economy.
Some of the topics covered in the HOPE curriculum include the principles of nonviolence, cognitive behavioral intervention (CBI), conflict mediation, and restorative justice.
HOPE is 12 weeks long and provides a stipend of $200 per week. The group meets Monday – Thursday for 2 ½ hours a day.
Hear from the graduates of our first HOPE cohort.
The Institute for Nonviolence Chicago job readiness program prepares participants with the skills, tools, and techniques to obtain, keep and excel at a new job. Participants will develop communication, problem solving, resume building, interviewing, and soft skills.
Tools participants utilize are based on a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) approach which will allow the participant to understand their emotions, maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. Curriculum components include:
Self-Awareness - Recognizing one's emotions and values as well as one's strengths.
Self-Management - Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve one's goals.
Social Awareness - Showing understanding and empathy for others.
Relationship Skills - Forming positive relationships, working in teams, dealing effectively with conflicts.
This program is 12 weeks long and provides a weekly stipend of $200. The group meets in-person Monday – Thursday for 2 ½ hours a day. On Fridays they meet remotely.
“I don’t see too many programs come into our neighborhoods that are actually helping us. This helps you find employment, find housing, tries to keep you off the street and safe.”
Workforce Development Participant
FLAT-LINING VIOLENCE INSPIRES PEACE (FLIP)
FLIP offers a first path to change for former drivers of violence. Participants take part in nonviolence and conflict mediation training to prepare them for personal and professional success. After completing training, FLIP Peacekeepers help keep the peace at neighborhood hot spots with which they are familiar. The presence of FLIP Peacekeepers has helped dramatically reduce shootings at these locations. The program began in 2018 with private funding and is now publicly funded. FLIP Peacekeepers cover 102 hot spots year-round in 14 Chicago neighborhoods.
FLIP can be the start of a longer professional career in the community violence intervention field.
This training program runs for 6 months and provides a stipend of $100 per day.
READI is an intensive 12-month program operating out of Austin and West Garfield Park, with Nonviolence Chicago providing outreach services. Participants get paid to take part in daily job training, professional development, and cognitive behavioral intervention sessions. This program targets adult men who are at high-risk of taking part in gun violence or becoming a victim to it.
This program is 12-months long and provides a weekly stipend up to $470 per week.
For more information on READI, please contact Tommie Jenkins, READI Chicago Supervisor, Austin @ (312) 270-5119 or email@example.com or Bryant Robertson, READI Chicago Supervisor, West Garfield Park @ (312) 718-1427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My family are the people I love the most. And I just want to do the right thing for them. And ya’ll are making it possible for me to do that.”
CASE MANAGEMENT AND REENTRY
Violence isn’t in our DNA. And those involved in violent acts don’t have to be violent forever.
Case Managers provide individuals with the support and services they need to stay safe. Case managers work with participants to individualize services to meet their self-identified needs and goals, including providing positive behavioral supports, mentoring and counseling, housing referrals, job readiness training and placement services and, as needed, referrals to more intensive external services like substance abuse prevention and treatment. Case management is an integral part of the long-term sustainability of peace in a community. Nonviolence Chicago recognizes people need alternatives to the violence and assistance in accessing and staying engaged with those alternatives.
We also offer reentry services for those returning to our community from incarceration. Case managers work to connect with individuals while they are still incarcerated so they have a person and place they know they can connect with when they are released. We are hopeful this will decrease recidivism while dramatically increasing resiliency and possibilities for a meaningful life.
Watch highlights from our most recent graduation, and hear how Reentry 2.0 impacted the lives of our participants.
The Institute for Nonviolence Chicago offers training about the principles and practices of nonviolence established by Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to build and strengthen the communities of peacemakers that partner with us in the fight against violence. Kingian Nonviolence workshops teach that peace happens with open dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation. We provide trainees with the knowledge and skills they need to engage in peaceful problem solving. All trainings are open to youth and adults who want to gain conflict mediation skills and promote nonviolence in their own beloved communities. We can tailor these trainings to particular groups and times ranging from 1 hour to 20 hours.
For more information or to host or attend a Nonviolence Training, please contact Marlena Jentz, Vice President of Operations & Strategic Partnerships @ (773) 682-4967 or email@example.com.
“This has been the most meaningful thing I’ve ever been a part of in life...to go from being one of the guys who tears down the neighborhood to being one who’s in charge of building it back together.”