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CHICAGO — For the last eight years, Robert Torres has been building relationships with families impacted by ongoing crime. 

In 2012, along with a mother who had just lost her son to gun violence, they launched “Parents for Peace and Justice.”

The program has met a need for families in Humboldt Park, Logan Square and the Belmont-Cragin communities. 

To help comfort families, Torres organizes peace vigils and points people to available resources. 

“What we learned early on is the need in the community and the lack of resources,” Torres said.  “We still have so many unsolved cases today and so these mothers and fathers are frustrated.”

Part of his focus has also been on creating mentorship programs and sports programming.  He believes they can keep kids engaged and out of trouble. 

Despite the pandemic, Torres is still working on mentorship programs.  Just recently he used Zoom to introduce students to professional players, as a way to inspire students to keep up with academics during this time. 

The organization also just received a $10,000 grant to implement new programming.