Street Outreach: engaging directly with those most at risk

For many young people in the West and South sides of Chicago, choosing a life of violence didn’t feel like a choice at all. It seemed like the only option. Our Street Outreach team works tirelessly to recruit these young people into our program to prevent violence and create environments where peace can thrive.

trusted leaders with lto: license to operate

Street Outreach workers are just that—on the streets, reaching out to those most-at-risk in Chicago.

Many members of the team come from the very neighborhoods where they work; they share similar backgrounds with the men they seek to support. To be successful, they must understand the complex rivalries in the communities we serve. Street Outreach workers build a bond with those at-risk, learning their individual stories and establishing the trust necessary for dialogue and change.

cred outreach workers talking on sidewalk

On-Call 24/7

Street Outreach workers are on-call 24/7 to reduce tensions in real time, prevent violence, and preempt retaliation.

A real opportunity

“In every crisis, there’s a real opportunity. We have amazing young men living on the South and West side of Chicago with extraordinary potential to do good.”

Arne Duncan | Chicago CRED, founder

cred outreach workers talking on sidewalk

Our Recruitment Approach

Focus on individuals and groups in the thick of violence

The young people we recruit are often in imminent danger; they can and do find themselves in active combat zones. We work on building trust with our participants to show them a way out of street life.

By forging new relationships and establishing strong bonds, we can help whole neighborhoods rebuild. Over time, our work can create a ripple effect that can reach the broader community.

meeting people where they are

Violence prevention is a big mission; community involvement is crucial. It’s the only way peace can take hold. We work with people on multiple levels and invest deeply in each neighborhood’s priorities. We find ways to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of individuals. 

Group of people celebrating park building event

Long-Term Initiatives

Such as building a park or restoring public spaces, in partnership with community leaders.

Chicago CRED team looking victorious in courtroom

Smaller Projects

Such as providing book bags filled with school supplies or participating in small community gatherings.

Men at chicago cred graduation

Individual Needs

Such as supporting a family that’s endured a tragic loss or taking a new parent out to buy diapers and being there over the long haul to successfully prepare  them for parenthood.

They Really Want Help— But Don’t Know How To Get It

“The most surprising things that I see everyday are the guys out in the streets that really want help, but don’t know how to get it and are scared to ask. That is why we are out in the community block by block. There is no place we won’t go.”

Michael Chester | Chicago CRED, Outreach Specialist

Everything counts towards making our communities safer.

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