For many south and west side Chicago youth, finding safe places to engage in summer activities can be especially challenging. For many Chicago neighborhoods and community, LISC Chicago provides many opportunities for youth through their Hoops in the Hood program. Working with other organizations, LISC Chicago kicked off their 13th season of Hoops in the Hood in June, and they're looking forward to closing on a high note.
On Saturday, August 17th, LISC Chicago (along with the Chicago Park District, the City of Chicago, the 1 st Police District, Aldermen, and State Farm) will hold a basketball tournament to celebrate the success of this year's Hoops in the Hood program. Closing off Columbus Drive between Balbo and Roosevelt, the Hoops in the Hood tournament will serve as a celebration of the violence prevention program which serves over 400 kids from 22 neighborhoods. There is an opening ceremony at 9:45 am, and the tournament follows between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. (Youth who are participating will receive a backpack of school supplies via State Farm.)
By working with various neighborhood organizations, Hoops in the Hood provides a fun and safe outlet for Chicago’s youth age 8 - 19. This program provides an opportunity for athletes, parents and community members to spend time together outside in their neighborhoods and replaces neighborhood crime hotspots with safety zones. With its message of community building and promoting neighborhood safety, Saturday's Hoops in the Hood tournament features a variety of guests, including
- Bob Love and Mickey Johnson, Bulls Alumni
- Timothy O’Connell, Chicago Park District
- Meghan Harte, Executive Director, LISC Chicago
- Chicago Police Department – 1 st District
- Kenya Merritt, Chief Small Business Officer, City of Chicago
- Rosa Escareno, Commissioner, Chicago Dep. of Business Affairs
- Eugene Jones, CEO, Chicago Housing Authority, and
- Lisa L. Cooper, Community Relations Specialist, State Farm
Organizations participating in Hoops in the Hood (which includes new community partners from Roseland/Pullman and Cabrini/Green) include
- ABC Pilsen
- Annie B. Jones Community Services – Shore UP
- Back of the YardsNeighborhood Council
- Breakthrough Urban Ministries
- BUILD, Inc.
- Claretian Associates
- Hands Around The Hundreds
- Near West Side CDC
- New Life Centers of Chicagoland
- Northwest Side Housing Center
- Project Education Plus
- Project H.O.O.D
- Southwest Organizing Project
- Teamwork Englewood
- The ARK of St. Sabina
- The Community Builders, and
Various community-based efforts thrive and survive in Chicago's neighborhoods, and LISC Chicago's Hoops in the Hood program is an excellent example of such a program. With thirteen years of success, their August 17th tournament will serve as a celebration of their success. If you want to celebrate Chicago's pride in its neighborhoods, consider checking out the Hoops in the Hood tournament on Columbus Drive between Balbo and Roosevelt.
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