CHICAGO -- Quentin Mables was born and raised in Englewood -- one of six kids to a single mother struggling to make ends meet.
He got himself in trouble on occasion, and a gun charge earned him a few days in jail.
One thing reminded him he could never go back there again -- his 4-year-old daughter Zoreya.
"When I had my daughter, it was a big turnaround in my life. A huge turnaround in my life. She was the main reason why I had to get my head on straight. Not just think for myself, you know, but my reactions and my behavior reflect upon her," he said.
Mables' love of Englewood and a desire to succeed was the beginning of the Englewood Peace Company. His venture is a year-and-a-half in the making. His t-shirts and mugs call attention to the problem on his neighborhood streets, and hopefully turning it around.
"It’s mind blowing to me, wow. It’s mind blowing because I know we can do better as a community, but you have to want to, to do so," he said. "These guys don’t want to be shooting, they don’t want to be robbing, they don’t want to be selling drugs, they don’t want to be hanging out. They actually want something better, but they have to see something better to understand there’s better out there."
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from t-shirt sales go back to I Grow Chicago Peace House, an organization Mables credits with helping him turn his life around and a home he helped build with his bare hands. The organization helps Englewood residents get social services and guidance.
"We have to instill in our youth there is a better way there is another alternative to picking up a weapon you know. There’s another way you can conduct your behavior versus picking up a gun," Mables said. "Once you’re presented with an opportunity to feed your family, provide for your family, to put food on the table, clothes on your back, when you are presented with that opportunity, I mean, everybody would want that."
Check out Mables' shirts at englewoodpeaceco.com.