For many Chicago residents, 2020 was a year fraught with multiple crises. As mandatory lockdowns stemming from a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis forced people to stay home as institutions closed, violent crime steadily rose to unprecedented levels, with more than 700 homicides recorded by the end of the year.[i]
The spike in crime posed new safety concerns for many children and families who were confined to fierce gun violence in lower-income neighborhoods, particularly on Chicago’s West Side. At Holy Family Ministries’ Holy Family School, the safety and wellbeing of its students—from COVID-19 and violent crime—was top of mind during last year’s closure.[ii]
The school, which teaches students from pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, jumped at the opportunity to reopen at the start of the 2020–2021 academic year and act as both a learning center and a place of refuge for many of its students. Holy Family, a Christian school whose students are 98 percent Black and 2 percent Hispanic, makes it a priority to instill conflict resolution into its students by conducting “Peace Exchange” programs starting from pre-school age where children learn to avoid and resolve conflicts peacefully.
Holy Family School offers a stellar academic program that places students on a path to success after graduation. Notably, all students who have attended Holy Family have been accepted into selective college preparatory high schools.
Holy Family Ministries is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a network of 300 health and human service organizations located in more than 1,400 communities across the United States. Together, the network makes a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year.
Learn more about Holy Family Ministries.
By Christopher Findlay, Senior Marketing Manager
[i] Holmes, Evelyn, and Alexis McAdams. “Chicago reports 700 murders so far in 2020, Cook County on track to break homicide record.” WLS-TV Chicago. December 1, 2020. https://abc7chicago.com/chicago-police-homicides-murder-report/8424707/
[ii] Rockett, Darcel. “Holy Family School in North Lawndale is a success story — and it stems from the word ‘family,’ offering a safety net in uncertain times.” Chicago Tribune. March 22, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-holy-family-ministry-school-0319-20210322-efjhatphrfdhbcubszcl64exyy-story.html