What We Need Now

by  , Youth Reporter from Altgeld Gardens

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program class at People for Community Recovery, a not-for-profit organization based in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.

Growing up in Altgeld Gardens for 19 years, experiencing everything that goes on out here. I don’t even know where to begin.

There’s a lot of violence—gang violence, too.

But the main thing that concerns me in my neighborhood is there is nothing to do in our neighborhood. There are not many programs to keep the kids occupied and out of trouble.

So how do we help these kids so that they can stay out of trouble?

Programs that were put in our neighborhood at the CYC or the Children’s building are now gone because of the violence and this is why the children in our neighborhood continue to stay in trouble. We need to come together as a unit and fight so that Altgeld’s children can participate in programs and activities so they won’t be out in the streets in harm’s way.

Some programs and activities that were in our neighborhood were a baseball league for kids ages 10 – 18. But the league was not a success because children were not participating due to the violence.

No one wanted to let their kids outside.

There also used to be a basketball program for ages 8 -23. Kids could come to the gym and shoot around or play pick-up games. But the older kids and their teams took over the courts and the younger kids didn’t have a place to come in and play.

There once was a dance at the community building, but that’s gone now, too, because of the violence. And no one wants to take the time to help these young children better their lives.

Due to Altgeld Gardens not having enough programs we need the support of families to come out so that their children have a play safely and have fun.

The only reason I say this is because when I look at my neighborhood I see this—a neighborhood in need, a neighborhood that must come together.

Our families and our community needs to unite as one, as a whole, to fight so that the children in Altgeld Gardens can have a nice, safe and fun place to play.

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Categories: UYIJP