Giving Compass' Take:

· Block Club Chicago talks about Heartland Alliance's new READI program aiming to help extremely high-risk individuals in the Chicago area with employment, behavioral therapy and other services to have a better future.

· How is this program changing violence in Chicago? How is it helping the community as a whole? 

· Read this case study about reducing recidivism for high-risk young men.

Things are looking up for Theo Watson.

The 44-year-old father of three just got a raise and is close to achieving his dream of becoming an outreach worker. After surviving a nearly three-decade heroin addiction, a gunshot wound to the leg, and five stints in prison, Watson is taking steps to change his future.

“I want to move out of this area,” he said. “I want to go where my baby can come outside and play in our yard without someone shooting. And I can go on my porch without someone talking about rocks.”

Watson is taking his lunch break in the cafeteria at the Freedman Seating factory. Still sweating from his work at the welding station, he’s been building chairs for ferries and trains as part of the READI program — the program he credits with saving his life.

READI is the Rapid Employment and Development Initiative, a radical new experiment fromHeartland Alliance, an anti-poverty organization, that could change how Chicago communities treat violence.

Read the full article about helping high-risk people by Nissa Rhee at Block Club Chicago.