Residents of high crime Chicago neighborhoods try to stop the violence

March 9, 2013 4:26:35 PM PST
Senator Dick Durbin visited the South Side Saturday to talk about the violence plaguing Chicago and how to find solutions.

As Durbin listened to residents to get their ideas, ministers on Chicago's West Side announced their own plan to stop the violence.

There is no doubt that those who live and work in neighborhoods plagued by crime are fed up with the violence.

Instead of just complaining about it or waiting for someone else to do something, concerned citizens are banding together to come up with ways to prevent the violence before it even happens.

Chicago Alderman Michelle Harris took Senator Dick Durbin on a tour of her 8th Ward's 87th Street business corridor Saturday.

This is the hub of my community is and existence and I've got to been seen as that leader that supports local so that people know its ok to come here and be here," Harris said.

The two politicians joined forces to hear from residents and area shop owners about how to try and prevent neighborhood crime.

Durbin joined the effort just a day after introducing the Hadiya Pendleton bill, legislation aimed at creating tougher penalties against "straw" buyers and gun traffickers.

There's a positive feeling here about safety and security here on 87th Street," Durbin said. "That's because of a lot of hard work."

Meanwhile a group of nearly a dozen churches on Chicago's West Side held the first meeting of mentoring program Austin Dream Makers 2013.

The program offers conflict resolution, academic support and other skills.

At Crane High School, dozens of young people attended a youth symposium sponsored by sorority Sigma Gamma Rho.

The teens got tips on a living a healthy lifestyle and advice about staying out of trouble.

The mentoring program is open to high risk boys and girls who reside in the Austin community, according to organizers.

Mentors went through their training this afternoon.