(CBS) – Wednesday was Andrew Holmes Day in Chicago.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. Holmes is a community activist who works to defuse violence in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods and encourages residents to help police following crimes.
Despite a relatively high profile in the city, you may not know that much about the man.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams sat down with Holmes to find out what makes him so committed to making a difference.
When a teenager is caught in gang crossfire or when a child is missing there’s a good chance Andrew Holmes will be there.
“I’m on a mission,” he says.
While we call him a community activist – and he is — he’s also a private investigator and a legislative liaison.
He says his motivation to do this work began when he himself was the victim of a shooting 25 years ago.
“It took me six months to learn how to walk all over again,” he says. “I can feel deep down a lot the pain a lot of them go through because I just about didn’t make it,” Holmes says.
Today, he monitors police radios and gets tip from cops. He’s quickly at a crime scene passing out fliers that he himself pays for.
Holmes insists he’s willing to talk to the media only to call attention to crimes and to find the criminals.
“It’s not about me. It’s not about the fame. It’s about helping people,” he says.
Holmes is one of eight children and is a father himself. He lives in the same South Side neighborhood where he grew up, Auburn-Gresham.