April 03, 2017
National Youth Violence Prevention Week strives to raise awareness about youth violence and how to prevent and reduce it. Each day of the week is designed to offer tips and information about promoting respect and tolerance, peaceful conflict resolution, anger management and more. Here at the YMCA of Metro Chicago, we care about violence prevention and have implemented it into our mission, along with academic readiness, character development, and fitness and healthy living.
Our Youth Safety and Violence Prevention (YSVP) initiative provides a safe space for youth living in some of Chicago’s most impacted neighborhoods, such as Little Village, Pilsen, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and South Chicago. Driven by the belief that “healing is prevention,” YSVP uses a trauma-informed approach to violence prevention that helps build leaders in the communities through various programs. YSVP hopes to expand to six sites serving 200 youth annually. Additional community support is needed to help us reach this goal. Click here to make an online donation.
YSVP youth Noah Bakr was invited to speak at a press conference hosted by Senator Dick Durbin about the Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act at the University of Chicago. He talked about the struggles he faced growing up in Chicago and how his YMCA mentors helped him turn his life around. Congressman Davis mentioned a new study from the Heartland Alliance which shows the relationship between violence, trauma and poverty. YSVP Executive Director Eddie Bocanegra was interviewed by the Heartland Alliance for an accompanying video.