LAMP was created in 2007 with the mission of providing caring adult mentors to children whose parents are incarcerated. LAMP serves children of North Lawndale from the ages of 4 to 18 who have a parent who is incarcerated. According to 2002 study by the Center for Impact Research, 57% of adults in North Lawndale, where Herzl is located, are involved in the criminal justice system: on probation, parole, sentenced to prison, or incarcerated. Nearly 99% of the children in North Lawndale schools qualify for free or reduced priced lunches because their families have low incomes. Given the combination of low income families and high percentage of incarceration among adults, the children in North Lawndale are particularly vulnerable to the social forces that lead to involvement with the criminal justice system.
LAMP is a replica of the Amachi program, created in Philadelphia by Rev. Wilson Goode, former mayor of that city. Amachi formed a partnership with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters and 42 church congregations to provide mentors.
LAMP is partnering with 13 local public schools to identify and recruit children whose parents are incarcerated. LAMP recruits mentors from local churches as well as the staff of local schools LAMP is also partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, and Habilitative Systems, Inc., to provide an array of services to the children of incarcerated parents and their families.
LAMP has been certified by Caregivers Choice, a national voucher program that links families of children with incarcerated parents with providers of mentoring services.
Because of its longstanding relationships with local schools, churches, and civic organizations, LAMP is able to pull together community resources to provide the kind of support that children of incarcerated parents need.
Through local elementary schools and one high school, LAMP identifies those children who have parents who are incarcerated. We establish relationships with the children and their parent or guardian and determine the benefits of a mentoring relationship for the child. Through local churches, the schools, and the community, LAMP recruits responsible adults who commit to one year of one-on-one mentoring, following a background check and training. We began our recruitment efforts with Greater Galilee Baptist Church and among the teaching staff of Herzl Elementary. Through local civic organizations and social service agencies, LAMP offers the kind of support that families need to cope with a family member’s incarceration.
LAMP has thus far made 16 matches, and will be working with Caregivers Choice and Goodcity to establish more matches, provide training for mentors, and monitor the relationships over the course of the year.
LAMP was created in 2007 with the mission of providing caring adult mentors to children whose parents are incarcerated. LAMP serves children of North Lawndale from the ages of 4 to 18 who have a parent who is incarcerated. According to 2002…