Stakeholders Promote a Safe Travel Zone for Youth

In February 2008, the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC), along with several other community partners were selected as part of the Illinois Department of Human Services' Safety Net Works initiative - sponsored by the Governor's Office. This program is designed to stop the tragic and unacceptable loss of life of youth and instead, instill hope for the future.

Joshua Adamsel and Tony Green, parents of St. Sabina students and patrolers for GADC, insure a safe passage way for youth at St. Sabina Academy.

Ernest Sanders

The state's resounding theme of the Safety Net Works model is a continuous focal point in Auburn Gresham’s Quality of Life plan. This plan list strategies that speak of the need for improved supportive services and safety for youth and their families. These strategies include:

While GADC has developed important partnerships with local elementary and high schools and CAPS, there is still a greater need to sustain these partners and align ourselves and related programs.

Anthony Jones and Lawrence Burns, veterans who reside at St. Leo Veterans' Campus patrol the streets between St. Sabina and Perspectives Charter Schools-Calumet Campus.

Ernest Sanders

One such program is titled, “Pedestrian Safety Travel Zone (PSTZ).” Under the this program, local veterans from Catholic Charities St. Leo Veteran's Campus and parents from Saint Sabina Academy provide our youth and residents a guarded walking path which allows them the best possible opportunity to walk and return from school safely and focus their attention on academics.

The patrollers focus their safety efforts between perimeters of Perspectives Charter Schools-Calumet Campus and Saint Sabina Academy.

This partnership began with a training facilitated by the City of Chicago to explain safe methods of deterring violent behavior when youths are entering or leaving school. Patrollers wear vests and have two-way radios to expedite communication when necessary.

To hear Chicago Public Radio's (WBEZ 91.5 FM) audio interview of our veteran patrollers, please click here.