2015 Planning Page: Two Options for a Chicago Youth Resource Directory (YRD)

Option I
A Comprehensive, Citywide
Youth Resource Directory

May 2015. CCM is exploring an unmet need in Chicago
for a comprehensive, universally accessible Youth Resource Directory (YRD) that would give all Chicagoans access to the full spectrum of youth development and violence solution resources available to them in their neighborhoods.
  • Here are CCM's TOP TEN REASONS for creating one.
  • Minutes of Jun 2014 community meeting in Austin in which participant spoke of the need to remove the "information bottleneck" that keeps Austinites largely ignorant about youth resources are already available to them in their neighborhood.
At this writing, however, the creation of a comprehensive, citywide YRD appears to be nowhere in sight. This we've learned from contacting half of the 25 groups listed in the right hand column (scroll down). 

A few groups, however, have explored the creation of a comprehensive YRD. They have costs to be prohibitive, running will into the millions. These costs include gathering resources, creating a database, putting it online and keeping it current for, say, ten years.

So a need that many feel is urgent is going unmet. In our view, a comprehensive, citywide YRD will serve two critical functions.
In addition to giving Chicagoans full access to existing youth support resources in their neighborhoods, this universally accessible directory would send a strong, citywide
message that Chicago is looking to solve youth violence as a city.

Links for more information

Option II

Serviceable, Low Cost, Locally Produced,
Neighborhoods Youth Resource Directories

If a citywide YRD isn't in the cards now, here's a viable, budget option. Let a sponsorsing organization (SO) empower each Chicago neighborhood to create its own serviceable, no-frills YRD. Here's an overview of the no-frills approach, with this idea explored in detail here.
  • Local YRD's could be created using a no-cost Google Site
  • They could be created and kept current in each of Chicago's 77 neighborhoods by knowledgeable local individuals, including tech-savvy local students
  • YRD creators could be trained to do their work by citywide groups such as Chicago Media Workshop, Strengthening Chicago's Youth or Chicago Civic Media.
  • Local YRD costs could be partly or fully underwritten by local advertising
    • Local YRD print and/or electronic versions could be sponsored and fully underwritten by a major company doing business in the neighborhood
  • Local YRD's would be job creators in Chicago's neighborhood, with most costs going to compensate neighborhood employees
  • Local YRD costs would be modest, probably under $20,000 per neighborhood for Year One and under $15,000 for each subsequent year.
  • Separate versions of YRD for students and adults could created at modest additional cost
  • Local YRD benefits woud citywide as well as local. Once online, links to all of them could be gathered into a master Google Site YRD. This site would be made available citywide: to all Chicagoans, including city, state and federal leaders and Chicago's print and electronic media
    • All of the above are woefully underformed about youth development and violence solution resources currently available to Chicagoans in their neighborhoods
  • Chicago's media could further disseminate local YRD resources via Chicago Civic Media's Full Story project.
Groups We're Contacting
  1. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  2. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago 
    1. Chicago MidSouth Community Resource Directory (2005)
  3. Chicago Community Trust 
    1. African American Legacy Initiative List of Grant Recipients
    2. CCT's Collaboratories Asset Mapping group
  4. City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor
    1. Mayor's Commission for a Safer Chicago - Strategic Plan for 2015
  5. Code for America
  6. Community Media Workshop
    1.  We Are Not Alone
  7. Get In Chicago
  8. Golden Apple Foundation
  9. Heartland Alliance
  10. Illinois Department of Human Resources
  11. Illinois Department of Public Health: 
    1. Violence Prevention Task Force
  12. Jewish Vocational Services (JVS Chicago)
  13. LISC Chicago
    1. Areas of Work and Neighborhoods
  14. MacArthur Foundation 
  15. McCormick Foundation
  16. MapsCorps Chicago
  17. NorthBridge Technology Alliance
  18. Purple Binder
  19. Smart Chicago Collaborative
  20. Strengthening Chicago's Youth 
  21. Thrive Chicago
  22. Tutor/Mentor Institute
  23. UIC Great Cities Institute
  24. UCAN
  25. United Way
  26. YMCA