there is nothing to stop us

by Rachel Lynch in

Once again, I am reminded of why I love this world and my job. Yesterday, I witnessed a man cry for the love and worry of his son, a self-less testimony. He said our children our dying out there on the streets, and he's right. In Chicago, we have a major problem over on 13th street. Kids, as young as twelve, linger and sell drugs throughout the day. Due to the fact we've eliminated over six basketball courts and playground in the South Loop alone, kids are left to hang  on the streets with little to do. The problem gets worse in the summer, kids want to be outside, but don't have anywhere to go. Without programs that promote sports and activities, the kids in my area are left with empty days and overheated apartments. Where I live, we don't have fancy parks or swimming pools, and we're desperately in need of some community youth programs. Last night, I attended a community meeting where the Chicago Parks Commission proposed ideas for a new Fosco Park in the area. The plans were under an acre in size and were simply a "green space," with four, literally four, park benches drawn in. The entire green space was surrounded by a four foot fence, and that was the extent of the design. "You might as well save your money," said one man at the meeting. "Four feet isn't going to keep anyone out day or night." We also have a huge problem with safety and crime in my area. Another father in the audience yelled out, "We used to have basketball courts on every block here and now we have none. I want there to be somewhere for my son to go, something for him to do.. And frankly, I don't see what he and his friend are gonna do with a bunch of green space aside from smoke a bunch of weed." Communities everywhere, not just mine, are in need of serious help to keep youth of the streets. Last night I put together my article for a local publication. As I piece together to quotes from all the concerned parents, I am reminded how important it is to give a voice to the voiceless.

The world can be as beautiful as we make it.