Summit hopes to help curb city's violence

June 8, 2012 (CHICAGO)

They started laying out the treats and the movie equipment early in hopes of welcoming the young who they say need their childhoods protected.

The purpose of CeaseFire week is to bring awareness of violence and of our commitment to stopping the violence," said CeaseFire program manager James Highsmith. "The only way we can do that is to connect completely and totally with the community."

CeaseFire has held a week of events like this targeted at the most vulnerable citizens in the city's toughest neighborhoods

"I grew up in Englewood and I was once in the streets," said CeaseFire counselor Carolyn Freeman. "So I kind of feel like I'm a part of what's broken, no matter now big or small the party is."

For both Carolyn and James, speaking to these and other kids is a firm of therapy for both sides.

Our target population is the ones who are most likely to shoot or be shot," Highsmith said. "But more so, what we're trying to do is bring in more people to get involved because everybody is likely to get shot."

That is not overstatement.

There were nine shootings Thursday night in the city. Last weekend, three people were killed and 25 injured in gun violence.

Memorial Day weekend saw 10 dead and 43 injured. Chicago police said Friday that with the hot weather expected this weekend curfew for minors will be strictly enforced.

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