CHICAGO – In an effort to raise awareness for peace in Chicago, a group of teens are camping out in one of the more trouble neighborhoods in the city.
The campaign is called “Increase the Peace” and it’s organized by 40 teenagers trying to make the city a little bit safer.
“It’s a place where you can come together … and you can have conversations amongst each other and build closer ties,” 17-year-old Deztinee Geiger said.
The teens were joined by parents and community members Friday night in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
“What we’re providing is an opportunity to engage residents and for them to come out of their home and really reclaim their streets,” said Jose Munoz of the Resurrection Project.
Organizers say it’s more than a camp out, it’s a celebration after a week of activism. There was free food, activities for kids, resources and information on public health.
There was also a sense of community in a neighborhood that has long battled violence and poverty.
“Growing up I wish I had something like this. It would have kept me out of a lot of bad crowds and a lot of trouble,” said 16-year-old Carlos Yanez.
Neighbors hope sleeping on the streets tonight will bring peace to these same streets tomorrow.
This is the first Friday night of the year where this is happening. But there’s going to be a campout every Friday night in different neighborhoods throughout the city for the rest of the summer.