The Power of Strong Communities
In a recent Community Voices post, a staff member from the After-School Program at Casa Romero in Chicago discusses how tCI youth programs work to reduce violence in Back of the Yards. As she puts it, “Someone who respects others and feels a responsibility to the community doesn’t participate in violence.”
A study from the Yale School of Medicine confirms just how true this statement is. Researchers studied the strength of bonds between neighbors in communities with high levels of gun violence. They found that people who have stronger connections with their neighbors also have decreased exposure to gun violence. They also found that these strong social connections increase a community’s resilience and ability to work together to respond to and recover from violent events.
Still, more than half of residents surveyed by Yale researchers knew none or only a few of their neighbors, which highlights the need for programs that increase neighborly and community bonds. Without social connections to build resistance to violence, members of at-risk communities face an increased risk for chronic trauma and stress, poor heath, and low productivity.
tCI programs help by connecting youth and adults to their broader community and giving them ways to contribute. Our programs give participants a safe place to meet their neighbors and work together toward common goals.
Consider making a donation to the After-School Program at Casa Romero or the tCI violence prevention program of your choice. A recurring gift of $11 a month provides classroom supplies for a child in the After-School Program. A one-time gift of $14 keeps the Internet service connected for a day, helping kids stay caught up on homework assignments and scholarship applications. Every gift helps build a strong, resilient community!