Get IN Chicago is awarding more than $2 million for initiatives aimed at reducing youth violence.  Funding will support expanded parent leadership and mentoring services, new programs workforce development programs, and better services for youth involved in Cook County probation.

This brings GIC awarded grants to $9.8 million so far in 2015 and keeps the organization on track to surpass its $10 million goal for the year.

“These new projects further our commitment to research, innovation, and saturation,” said Toni Irving, Ph.D., executive director, Get IN Chicago. “Central to our place based strategy is funding a variety of programs in each neighborhood, and in many instances in each school. We want to lead the charge in attending to the relationship between neighborhood effects and individual outcomes.”

The new grants are set to reach 1,060 youth and parents in all.

New Programs
Five new programs will start services in January 2016.  Funding will support workforce development, cognitive behavioral therapy, innovative wraparound care programs as well as improved services for youth involved in Cook County probation.   We also formally announce our finalized partnership with Otis Wilson Charitable Association to reach 40 youth in Austin.


Prologue will reach youth in Humboldt Park, South Shore, and West Englewood with its workforce development program

Banner Learning Corporation: Banner Academy will offer a workforce development program to unenrolled youth in the Austin community.   Their META24 labs will give youth hands-on training in the fields of media, graphic arts, fashion, manufacturing, aquaphonics, business, and entrepreneurship. The Get IN Chicago grant will enable Banner to reach an additional 100 youth with these job skills.

One Hope United: One Hope United will expand Get IN Chicago’s therapy reach to additional CPS priority high schools in Englewood, West Englewood, and Roseland.  Their staff will work collaboratively with CPS administration to offer their services to students who have experienced trauma.  One Hope United will serve 100 students in the next year.

Prologue, Inc.: Prologue’s maritime workforce development program combines job readiness training, community service, field certification, and vocational credit.  In particular, the program supports students as they earn credentials in the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics sector. Youth will also gain experience working with carbon fiber and learn skills related to fiber glass and engine repair.  Prologue’s program will enroll 50 youth from Humboldt Park, South Shore, and West Englewood.

Westcare Illinois: Westcare’s Restorative Justice to End Violence program is a collaborative effort with Juvenile Probation and Precious Blood Ministries.  All program participants will be referred from probation and will participate in cognitive behavioral therapy (led by Westcare), restorative justice trainings (led by Precious Blood), and group physical activities (led by Probation.)  Additionally, Probation will offer community service credit to participants to encourage attendance.  The program is set to reach 100 youth from all Get IN Chicago focus communities.

Westside Health Authority: Westside Health Authority’s workforce development program, Project AVERT, will provide employment readiness and training for Austin’s most violent-prone population: youth with gang affiliations, justice system involvement, or unenrolled statuses.  In addition to soft skills trainings, the program supports intensive mentoring, case management, and employment guidance.  The program is set to reach 100 at-risk youth in Austin this year.

*Otis Wilson Charitable Association: Otis Wilson Charitable Association will lead a Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures program in Austin.  Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures combines physical activity with nutrition education in an afterschool setting.  Activities will include team sports, non-traditional exercise, and balanced eating on a budget.  The program is set to reach 40 youth this year.

Expansions and Renewals
One goal of Get IN Chicago is to support excellent organizations as they scale up to reach more youth and families with evidence-based programming.  By reaching large groups with evidence-based models, these organizations play a critical role in our ability to evaluate which approaches make the biggest impact for reducing violence among our youth.   We are proud to announce that the following organizations will receive funding for renewed and expanded programs to reach 550 youth and families.

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Metropolitan Family Service’s Parenting Fundamentals program was selected for renewal

Alternatives, Inc.: Alternatives will add an Urban Arts program to its restorative justice work.  Urban Arts will use dance, theatre, spoken word, and visual arts to guide youth development in expression, goal-setting, communication, teamwork, and decision-making.  This new program component will deepen Alternatives’ reach and impact with 100 at-risk students at the schools they currently serve in Austin and Englewood.

Family Focus: Family Focus, Inc. will continue its B-PROUD parenting program, expanding their reach to 200 parents in Englewood, Humboldt Park, and North Lawndale.  B-PROUD aims to shape a set of parenting skills that will contribute to their childrens’ long-term success in school, in relationships and in achieving life goals.

Lawndale Christian Legal Center: Lawndale Christian Legal Center will continue its integrated Mentoring and Legal Representation Program, expanding to serve 70 youth.  Dedicated mentors will serve dually as mentor and attorney and work in tandem to provide integrated legal and social services, individualized goal setting, educational or vocational achievement, and improving attitudes and behaviors.

Metropolitan Family Services: MFS will continue its Parenting Fundamentals Program, an evidence-based, multi-component program that includes group-based behavioral parenting education and training sessions, home visits, comprehensive referral services, and an ongoing parental support group to 120 parents in Englewood and Roseland.

Youth Guidance: Youth Guidance will continue the B-PROUD program, reaching 160 parents in Austin and Englewood. B-PROUD aims to shape a set of parenting skills that will contribute to their childrens’ long-term success in school, in relationships and in achieving life goals.

Technical Assistance

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Youth Shout Out participants with Tom Wilson in June. Lumity will provide technical assistance to one of their ideas, Micro Jobs.

*Lumity: Get IN Chicago also finalized a contract with Lumity to provide technical assistance for the Youth Shout Out micro jobs project.  Lumity will oversee project implementation at 5-7 sites in our focus communities.  Their tasks will include coordinating sites, training local staff on micro jobs, providing financial literacy trainings, and monitoring compliance at participating organizations.