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Founded in 2011, the mission of the Little Village Youth Safety Network (LVYSN) is to create a safe neighborhood by providing high-quality youth programming to at-risk youth and their families during the critical developmental stage of 5th to 9th grade. It is a collective impact effort that focuses on increasing the resources available for youth violence prevention efforts in the community, strengthening community partnerships, and supporting program evaluation to highlight best practices and demonstrate impact.


The LVYSN is founded on an outcomes-driven, preventative approach and theory of development. As youth violence is the result of many different factors, it must be addressed in a comprehensive way. The LVYSN aims to improve community safety over the long-term through the coordination of diverse, quality programming tailored for at-risk youth and their families. Programming is designed to develop the protective factors of youth that lower their risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. As youth will continue to encounter risk factors, the LYSYN aims to equip them with healthy coping skills that will help them manage challenging situations throughout their lives. This helps them perform better in school, make better decisions that keep them safer and reduce risk factors that lead to negative life outcomes, thereby improving opportunities and choking off the pipeline to gangs and the criminal justice system. Community-wide, this will ultimately lead to reduced crime, diminished influence of street gangs, fewer community members involved in the criminal justice system, and a strong culture of education and community involvement.

For more information about LVYSN, contact

LVYSN Partners Included:

  • Beyond the Ball

  • Central States SER

  • Chicago Youth Boxing Club

  • Enlace Chicago School-Based Counselors

  • Erie Neighborhood House

  • Mount Sinai Hospital Under the Rainbow Program

  • New Life Centers

  • Telpochcalli Community Education Project

  • Universidad Popular

  • YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention

2014 Youth Safety Map

The Little Village Safety Map Report, which included data collected through the LVYSN, was released in 2014. It included an assessment of school climates and an analysis of crime patterns that confirmed that major gang borderlines, near Lawndale and Ridgeway Avenues and along Marshall Boulevard, have disproportionate levels of crime and numbers of youth who feel unsafe outside of their schools. Network programming has therefore shifted to ensure an increase in programming in these areas of the community.​

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