Little Village community seeks solutions, resources for youth following fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo

Out of 77 communities in Chicago, the area that includes Little Village ranks number two when it comes to hardship
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Relatives of Adam toledo gathered in the alley Friday, where the Chicago teen was killed, along with strangers thinking of their own children.

The 13-year-old was fatally shot by Chicago police in Little Village last month.

"He's a kid, just like Adam was. The adults are supposed to be the ones to protect our communities, protect our children," said Andrea Serrano.

Serrano is one of those strangers. She's never met him, but she's also thinking of her own 9-year-old son.

RELATED | Bodycam video of 13-year-old Adam Toledo killed by CPD released by COPA

"They just need to be kids," Serrano said. "When we are the ones, the adults, who are creating the problems that are leading to so much of the hardship that exists in our communities. Again, it all goes back to the system."

Growing up in Little Village is challenging.

It's a system and a community Alexander Linares knows well. He was born and raised in Little Village and works for the University of Illinois Chicago's Great Cities Institute, which is a research hub helping to improve communities.

"If you would allocate resources to help these communities then you could prevent future incidences like this to occur," Linares said. "Everyone wants to figure out how this happened, right. The issue is just complex. We have different dynamics - education, economics, poverty."

Out of 77 communities in Chicago, the area that includes Little Village ranks number two when it comes to hardship, like unemployment and poverty. Thirty percent of households in the neighborhood have incomes below the poverty level.

Out of 77 communities in Chicago, the area that includes Little Village ranks number two when it comes to hardship, like unemployment and poverty.



Education is another concern - nearly 1/3 of those over 25 do not have high school diplomas.

Housing is crowded in the Chicago neighborhood as well, where 35% of the population are dependants, either over 64 or under 18 years old.

Linares pointed to an empty lot where Washburne Trade School was razed years ago and said Little Village needs resources.

"They need to increase the amount of investment in childhood education, to have those resources and wraparound services for youth," Linares said.

RELATED: How to talk to your child about the Adam Toledo police shooting video
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The trauma of seeing another police shooting of a teen of color only adds to what some are already dealing with in Chicago.



""Our biggest concern right is to care for you, listen to you, and to surround you with people who care deeply about you," said Andres Alvear, Chief Program Officer, BUILD.

Youth organizations, like BUILD, do exist and they're entirely focused on making sure youth succeed. Their leaders say now is a critical time.

"What this moment has taught us is that we really need to listen to our young people and ask them how we need to support them," Alvear said.. "And I think all of us can do that."
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