Chicago has been in the national news all summer due to the increase in children being shot and killed and most recently the looting in downtown Chicago. There have been over 2000 people shot and it is only August. It has alarmed and disturbed people in the city. There are many factors for the violence: poverty, lack of quality education, lack of social services, lack of mental illness resources, lack of economic development in the neighborhoods, systemic racism, illegal guns, guns placed in the neighborhoods, lack of adult guidance, people making terrible decisions to engage in violent behavior and distrust of law enforcement, elected officials and more.
Even though some people are dismayed by the violence and crime; most have not given up on the city. There are regular protests and many people and organizations doing their part to make an impact, but there is so much work that needs to be done in order to make a discernible difference. One of those people not giving up on the city is Patrick Beverly of the Los Angeles Clippers. Beverly always represents his city Chicago and knows about the beauty and the ugliness of the city.
During the NBA restart Beverly left the bubble when one of his best friends, Devarius Davis, was shot and killed in Chicago. His friend had just turned 31 and was killed in the park where they all hung out when they were younger. Watching the national news talk about the violence in the city hits home for him. He badly wants to do more for at-risk youth and be a leader for his crew at home.
Beverly has lost many friends and a father figure to violence. He is tired of losing people and thinks about how he needs to hurry up and get home to his friends and family; because he says it isn’t safe. He wants to shine a light on Chicago and inspire youth who want to be the next Patrick Beverly. He wants to do what he can to get everyone in the hardest hit communities out of danger.
As I said, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to address the myriad factors causing the increase in violence and criminal actions. Getting help from people like Beverly who want to be part of the solution is crucial and shining a light on the issues will go a long way in addressing and fixing the problems.