CHICAGO -- On Saturday, Chance the Rapper’s Social Works program lifted up a small but mighty organization aimed at helping the youngest residents of Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
The group Youth of Englewood found a new home on Saturday. They are now in the in the back of a building at 60th and Halsted streets.
For nearly five years, Latanya Johnson’s mission to help the children of Englewood existed without a home.
Her program starting with just five kids five years ago and met in Ogden Park. It has now flourished. There are now more than 50 kids between five and 14 in the program.
The new youth center isn’t big, but it’s designed to make a big impact.
The center has literacy, geography, games and toys to help build Englewood’s youngest residents into productive adults—that includes exploring other parts of the city even on Johnson’s small budget.
“We find that children in Englewood, some of them don’t leave a mile radius from their home. So we’ve decided that through Youth of Englewood we would expose the children to the better things the city has to offer,” Stanee Wills said.
The program is now supported in a small way by Chance the Rapper’s Social Works program, which gives grass roots organizations like Johnson’s the boost needed to grow.
“It takes a village to raise a kid. We lost that. I want to bring that back,” Johnson said. “If I can target 100s of kids, we can make this community, our city, a better place,” she said.
To donate, visit the group’s GoFundMe page.