CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman opens her home to teenage boys who are seeking refuge from gang violence on the South Side.
Diane Latiker says she created a program called the “Kids Off The Block” in 2003 to house Chicago youth to keep them off the streets.
Since the program’s creation, Latiker has helped thousands of teenage boys stay away the violence in their neighborhood and supports them in focusing on school work.
Latiker’s sold some of her belongings such as televisions to purchase computers for the boys to use for school. She freed up space in her two-flat house to fit nine teenagers who are at risk of gang violence.
WLS-TV reports that in the 16 years of the program’s existence more than 3,000 youths have joined including Joel Q. The 25-year-old teacher says Latiker and “Kids Off The Block” program gave him skills to be a leader in his community and a moral base.