Saving Lives: Intervention

BUILD is committed to serving Chicago’s youth who are facing the greatest risks.

We change lives by providing safe and constructive alternatives to youth who are involved with gangs, the justice system, or risky behaviors.

By offering both individualized as well as community-based programming, BUILD opens doors for youth who may have given up, helping them take charge of their lives, futures, and communities.
BUILD’s Peace Leagues bring together ex-gang members, police, and neighborhood kids to create positive alternatives to street life and to build trust. Intensive mentoring provides troubled youth with the support and opportunities to develop goals and hold themselves accountable.
The Youth Leadership Council, Restorative Justice Initiative, and Inward Healing Camping Trips are just some of the ways BUILD ensures that court- and gang-involved youth invest in their futures.

Lives are being changed and saved every day by our work and the other competition winners, we are also joined by other seed grantees and Chicago Impact Award winners, and with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance as solution partners – we’ll be able to reach even more young people who are in need. We couldn’t be more grateful!

Watch our MBK Community Challenge video!

Individual and Community-Based Programming

Intervening in Gangs: Intervention Specialists develop relationships, build trust to help gang-involved youth leave that lifestyle with activities that reduce participation in violence and crime. Recreational and athletic activities allow staff to develop rapport with gang members in order to guide them to other resources such as tutoring, counseling, substance abuse treatment and job training.

Juvenile Justice: Intervention Specialists and Case Managers engage youth and their families and help them navigate the justice system, accompanying them to court, advocating for youth to judges and probation officers. Staff also work with youth on court mandated work and assist to identify issues, seek solutions, mediate disputes, and encourage education and keep youth out of the prison system.


BUILD Sports Peace Leagues: Through collaborative efforts, BUILD teams up with other organizations and coalitions that are committed to remediating gang-related violence. The Peace League brings together active members, those who are no longer involved and police to play in sports activities to promote respect and provide positive interactions in order to disrupt the pattern of conflict and retaliation.

of youth connected to school were promoted to the next grade
of youth reduced negative, high-risk behaviors, including exhibiting aggressive behavior and associating with negative peer group
of youth who attended a life-skills workshop reported increased knowledge of healthy conflict resolution
youth have detached from gangs with Intervention assistance in the past year
of youth who have been court involved have avoided recidivating
of youth decreased their use of illegal substances while involved with BUILD