For nearly 50 years, BUILD has worked in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods to stem the violence that takes away the positive potential – and, far too often, the very lives – of our youth. In 1969, BUILD started working with fewer than 200 gang-affiliated teens in one neighborhood and today BUILD serves nearly 3,000 youth annually, offering targeted services to enhance our impact in four priority communities - Austin, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and Logan Square - while continuing to provide support in other Chicago neighborhoods and throughout Cook County.
BUILD’s programs are designed to meet both the immediate problem of preventing at-risk youth from joining gangs as well as working with gang-involved youth to develop alternatives to this destructive lifestyle. Our service population also includes youth who have come in contact with the justice system to prevent and/or provide alternatives to detention and assist with successful re-entry into their communities.
- to reduce negative behaviors, school expulsions and withdrawals, recidivism rates, and court and gang involvement, and
- to increase pro-social behaviors, school readiness and success, college access, and opportunities for happy, productive futures.
BUILD believes that every child deserves a bright future regardless of individual challenges or neighborhood barriers. To transform children’s lives from at-risk to at-hope, BUILD provides comprehensive services across critical developmental milestones, meeting young people where they are: in the schools, on the streets, or in the courts. Providing continuity in communities that too often face disruption, isolation and change, BUILD strives to be a constant and trusted resource for youth whether they are struggling to stay in school and out of gangs, or striving to go to college and build a career.