Purpose Over Pain's weekend gun violence crisis line launches Friday

Mark Rivera Image
Thursday, May 4, 2023
New weekend gun violence crisis line launches Friday
Purpose Over Pain helps mothers and families who've lost loved ones to shootings in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 24/7 weekend crisis line is launching on Friday to help families affected by gun violence cope, and to offer resources to help.

ABC7 spoke with the hotline founder and anti-violence advocates about how they hope this brand new resource can help ahead of typically violent summer months.

Over just the past four months in Chicago, more than 740 people have been shot, according to data tracked by ABC7. Out of those victims, 114 were children under the age of 18, with 17 of them being killed. Four kids were killed every month in the city so far this year.

And, when you lose a child, "it's hard to get out the bed just to walk, just to talk, just to smile just to eat just to do anything of those types of things and we want to just be there for them and let them know, they're not alone," said Pam Bosley, the leader of Purpose Over Pain.

Bosley knows, intimately, that feeling of loss, pain, anger and now, resolve. She lost her son, Terrell, to gun violence in 2006.

On Thursday, she lead the group, Purpose Over Pain, for mothers and families who've lost loved ones to shootings in the city. They now have a brand-new initiative.

"If you're just a mom, dad, whatever, and want to pick that phone up, we're there for you," Bosley said.

As the typically violent summer months approach, Bosley is starting a 24/7 weekend hotline, which is launching Friday. It is designed to be a resource to families who need to talk about their loss. It will operate from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Sunday, and is there for people who need help with everything from funeral arrangements to connecting with counselors. Callers can speak with others who've gone through similar devastating experiences.

"We understand," Bosley said. "We understand what you're saying, what you're feeling. We get it. We're there and we share your pain."

Beersheba Abernathy lost her only son in 2018. She said she'll be spending Mother's Day manning the line to help others.

"Kind of talk them through it, and encourage them, and kind of help them to walk through that door to the office that will ultimately lead to their healing," Abernathy said.

St. Sabina Pastor Father Michael Pfleger said this is exactly what impacted communities need.

"It's not about just talking to a voice. It's talking to somebody who lost a child who can understand where you're at right now," Pfleger said.

Those touched by gun violence in Chicago can call 872-3CRISIS (872-327-4747) to be connected with people who have walked that path.