Your Story

Ehi Aimiuwu

“After high school, I wanted to do something related to tech. I ended up going to Prairie State College. I already had one kid at the time. I ended up dropping out because I got into a really bad relationship.” “The relationship ended up causing both of us to be homeless. I was in and...

The Rev. Charles Moodie

“I’m originally from Yonkers, New York. I’ve been married 23 years to my wife, Kehinde, and I have two sons: Joshua, who is 23, and Josiah, who is 21.” “When we were in New York, my wife and I believed Chicago is where God wanted us to be. So, my wife and I resigned our...

Fabian Santiago

“I was arrested and framed for murder four days after turning 16 years old. I have an ongoing multimillion-dollar lawsuit.” “To this day, the U.S. Attorney’s office hasn’t produced one criminal prosecution of this crew, but at the time in Humboldt Park there was a group of detectives who were basically running as a criminal...

Tio Hardiman

“I grew up around gun violence on the South Side of Chicago between the projects of Avalon Park and the Henry Horner Homes. I saw all these young brothers losing their lives in situations that could have easily been avoided or mediated.” “I started organizing about 20 years ago because I got tired of seeing...

Harry Pena

“I joined a gang at 10 years old. I spent most of my life on the streets. I had my first taste of whiskey. I smoked. I hit teachers in school. I tortured cats.” “My father mentally and physically abused my mother. I hated him. At 12 years old, I followed him to learn his...

Sherronda Booker

“2020, after volunteering at my children’s school for so long, I was offered a job in the lunchroom. I think the wage was maybe $13 an hour. I am also a licensed cosmetologist who was not actively doing hair because I was more focused on raising my three children.” “$13-an-hour was not enough to live...

Samantha Danielle

“Alcohol licensing was easy at the federal level. I am an importer and wholesale distributor, but then you have to get it at the state level because prohibition and bootlegging made it a state-by-state decision on how to sell alcohol.”

Ron Kooyman

“I’ve been in Chicago 30 years. I came to Chicago to do inner-city youth and children’s ministry. I was 36 years old then, and violence has gotten much worse since then. That’s horrendous for somebody to be killed by a couple of criminals in his own yard while putting [Christmas] lights on his house.” “Jose [Tellez]...

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