Founded in 2013, Get IN Chicago is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to address and impact issues related to community violence. We combine private resources with experts in social policy and evaluation to identify, fund, and evaluate evidence-informed approaches to violence.
Get IN Chicago’s mission is to identify, fund and rigorously evaluate evidence-based programs that lead to a sustainable reduction in violence for individuals and communities most affected by violence and poverty.
The organization has three responsibilities:
1. Monitor funded programs and measure performance to validate outcomes.
2. Expand proven programs to ensure that they are having a sustainable impact on acutely high-risk youth.
3. Coordinate these programs with existing public and community-based efforts.
Get IN Chicago focuses its energy on funding, measurement, and thought leadership.
- Funding supports evidence-based programming in areas proven to impact youth violence, as well as technical assistance to make local organizations stronger and reach scale numbers of acutely high-risk youth.
- Measurement work includes research on granted programs to gain insight about what works and what doesn’t. We also provide support to strengthen evaluation and accountability systems in the Chicago nonprofit community.
- Thought leadership includes disseminating our findings to other public, private, and civic funders and informing on best programs and practices to impact violence through convenings, publications, and events.
Get IN Chicago’s strategy is further informed by research evidence that indicates many Chicago youth are experiencing multiple crises that can prevent or limit their ability to become self-sufficient in adulthood. Research shows that a combination of individual, family, school, and community/peer supports provides the most effective support for acutely high-risk youth. As we make programmatic decisions, we evaluate how programs will impact youth at each of these levels, as well as how a program can complement other programs already in the community.
A long-term, systematic strategy drawn from rigorous analysis is used to guide our investments. Get IN Chicago’s strategic approach is to invest in focus communities that reflect more than double the city average for violence, are populated by significant concentrations of youth, demonstrate the capacity to successfully carry out evidence-based programs, and indicate a willingness to collaborate.
Our current seven focus communities are Austin, Englewood, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Roseland, South Shore, and West Englewood.
Get IN Chicago is committed to reaching a distinct group of young people: the acutely high-risk. We focus our investments on this group through funding and research.
The term ‘at-risk’ includes young people with any risk factor for violence. For example, a youth may be defined as ‘at-risk’ simply by living in a dangerous neighborhood or struggling academically. The acutely high-risk demonstrate multiple and/or a severity of risk factor(s). Acutely high-risk youth may be chronically truant (missing more than 10% of school) or have prior involvement in the juvenile justice system. Statistically, youth in this group are most likely to be victims of violence.
Our research has shown that while many services exist to support at-risk youth in Chicago, there is an urgent need to address the acutely high-risk. Working with this group is challenging. These young people are often disconnected from their schools, families, and communities, making them difficult to find and engage in programming. But we believe that acutely high-risk youth are the ones in greatest need of our support, creativity, and energy.