CHICAGO (CBS) — We hear so much about violence in Chicago – with each bullet changing lives forever.
But sometimes in the long run, hope can triumph over tragedy. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas introduced us to three Chicago men who are trying to make a difference.READ MORE: Man Shot, Killed During Home Invasion In South Shore; 4 People In Custody
One man was shot in the stomach four years ago in the Austin community on the city’s West Side. He said someone killed his brother just a day earlier as gang feuds gripped the neighborhood.
“It was real traumatizing. Some of the worst pain I ever felt,” he said. “I wanted out of that lifestyle. I wanted something else.”
That something else came from Chicago CRED — an anti-gun violence group. The letters stand for “Create Real Economic Destiny.”
First, they helped him restart his life, Now, CRED has hired him to steer others away from street violence.
“Growing up, we never have examples of a guy who been through what we been through, but transitioned,” he man said. “So now I can be that example.”
Much of CRED’s work happens on the streets of the South and West sides, where the group tries to pull young people out of a cycle of poverty and violence.READ MORE: R. Kelly's Attorney Says Singer Unlikely To Testify At His Sex Trafficking Trial
The team identifies people at risk and then they connect them with job training and counseling.
Just last week, 46 CRED participants earned their high school diplomas.
It is a prideful moment for alumni coordinator Billy Moore.
“I felt so good for these young men.” Moore said. “We want to push them to the next level. We’ve already enrolled some of those young men at that graduation into college programs, into vocational programs.”
On the walls of CRED’s West Side headquarters, you’ll find notes showcasing the aftermath of brainstorming sessions about ways to avoid conflicts and achieve goals.
“It’s that missing piece that can help us elevate and actually look at life a little bit more different,” said Tyrese Jackson.
The goal is to create change, one person at a time.MORE NEWS: Jamar Jarvis Convicted In 2018 Carjacking Of Off-Duty CPD Officer In Edgewater
if you want to help Chicago CRED fight crime – or are in need of services yourself – go to this link for their website.