05 Nov 2019

Safe Homes, Safe Streets: ALSO’s Benefit for Peace

At a time of growth and innovation, ALSO shared its “Safe Homes, Safe Streets” vision of violence prevention with friends and looked to the future on Wednesday, October 16th at its 2019 Benefit for Peace Gala.  More than 100 friends of ALSO attended the event at Moe’s Cantina in downtown Chicago. 

“Our vision is for a world with ‘Safe Homes and Safe Streets,’ and we achieve that vision with your support,” said ALSO Executive Director Lori Crowder at the gala. 

In her remarks, Crowder talked about ALSO’s Community Allies who “help make our streets and homes safer”; the impact ALSO has made in its work in the past few years, and the growing recognition that the organization is receiving, which includes a $1 million, four-year investment from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

Recipients of ALSO’s 2019 Community Ally Award (from left to right): Pastor Edgar Rodriguez, Jr. of New City Fellowship, Humboldt Park; retired Cook Cty. Judge Gloria Chevere, and Darrell F. Spencer, Commander, 11th Police District. To right in photo, next to Cmdr. Spencer are Lori Crowder, Executive Director of ALSO and Jorge Matos, Director of the Safe Streets program at ALSO.

Chicago Aldermen Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) and Felix Cardona, Jr. (31st Ward), as well as Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi, also voiced their support for ALSO’s work at the benefit. 

Community Ally Awards 

Community Ally awards were given this year to retired Cook County Judge Gloria Chevere; Darrell F. Spencer, Commander of the 11th Police District, and Pastor Edgar Rodriguez, Jr. of New City Fellowship in Humboldt Park. 

Jorge Matos, Director of ALSO’s Safe Streets program, introduced the awardees. 

Chevere, he said, has “supported those living in risk of violence to promote safer homes and streets, work that included assisting many ALSO staff on their paths to expungement.” 

Commander Spencer has worked to support street outreach efforts and partnered with Communities Partnering 4 Peace, which features nine of Chicago’s leading outreach organizations, including ALSO, who have combined their expertise to jointly impact nine Chicago communities most affected by gun violence. 

New City Fellowship, Matos said, has kept its “doors open for the community – where others have not.” Pastor Rodriguez and his wife Sonia have eight children and live in Humboldt Park, where New City Fellowship is located.  

Impact 

Meanwhile, Crowder shared that, 

  •         This summer, ALSO reached almost 2000 people at its Light in the Night community events;
  •         In 2018, with the help of volunteers like Judge Chevere and the Chicago Legal Clinic, ALSO assisted with the expungment or sealing of over 311 criminal cases, which removes barriers for people, and
  •         ALSO has trained hundreds of people on preventing or addressing violence in Chicago and around the country. ALSO reaches multiple communities through our violence prevention work in every state and territory in the U.S.

In addition, ALSO Safe Streets staff are trained at the Metropolitan Peace Academy, a growing effort to support professional development for street outreach workers in Chicago communities.                                

Recognition 

The MacArthur grant, Crowder said, recognizes ALSO’s work as “a cornerstone agency.” With MacArthur’s support, ALSO will “increase its capacity to innovate, share lessons learned and sustain its work to effectively serve those most at risk of violence.” 

Crowder thanked ALSO’s board, staff, and community partners for their work and belief in the power of collective effort. “Thank you again for celebrating with us, for being here, for donating,” Crowder said. “Your support means everything to us. Thank you for standing with us.”

ALSO Executive Director Lori Crowder speaks at the 2019 Benefit for Peace. "Our vision is for a world with 'Safe Homes and Safe Streets,' and we achieve that vision with your support, she said to the crowd.

RECAP

At a time of growth and innovation, ALSO shared its “Safe Homes, Safe Streets” vision of violence prevention with friends and looked to the future on Wednesday, October 16th at its 2019 Benefit for Peace Gala.  

“Our vision is for a world with ‘Safe Homes and Safe Streets,’ and we achieve that vision with your support,” said ALSO Executive Director Lori Crowder at the gala. 

Crowder talked about the impact ALSO has made in its work in the past few years, and the growing recognition that the organization is receiving, which includes a $1 million, four-year investment from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

Community Ally awards were given this year to retired Cook County Judge Gloria Chevere; Darrell F. Spencer, Commander of the 11th Police District, and Pastor Edgar Rodriguez, Jr. of New City Fellowship in Humboldt Park. 

DONATE TODAY!

ALSO is an organization committed to ending violence in homes and communities nationwide. Your contribution will help us live out our mission to develop, promote and implement model programs in order to build a movement for peace and safety in the coming year.

With your support, we will:

  • Continue providing jobs for in-risk youth through our 10-10-10 job training program.
  • Provide bystander intervention training for youth and community members, giving people the skills to know how to increase safety in high risk situations.
  • Explore and reveal the relationship between intimate partner and community violence to create programming that will reduce both.

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