Programs

STREET INTERVENTION

Street Intervention forms the core of the Crossfire program. Street intervention is composed of men and women who spend time in local neighborhoods getting to know people, building trust, and delivering the Gospel message. The goal is to win the hearts and minds of the neighborhood and by influencing lives for Christ, to transform lives, to bring opportunity, and to build pride in those neighborhoods. For more information call

Ron Gorny
Crossfire Gang Outreach
773.294.8849
crossfire.willowcreek@gmail.com

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GANGS ANONYMOUS

Gangs Anonymous is a program run in conjunction with Crossfire that addresses the addiction of gang life through a unique recovery program. The underlying assumption in this program is that gang life is addicting, just like alcohol, drugs, or pornography. The gang, which acts to fulfill the basic desires of a gang member’s heart, establishes itself as the central focus of the individual’s life and the power exuding from that relationship acts like a magnet to continually draw the gang member back to the destructive activities of the group.  Various subsets of addictive behavior such as thrills, sexual conquest, revenge, anger, and a thirst for power become signifying elements within the larger purview of gang addiction and call for a recovery program that is not dissimilar to those being used to address other addictions. In Crossfire, as with other recovery programs undertaken at Willow Creek Community Church (http://willowcreek.org/recovery), the underlying belief is that the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit is the vital factor in bringing about life change. The Gangs Anonymous program becomes the conduit through with the Spirit works to bring about basal life change in the gang member’s lives.

Gangs Anonymous is able to take advantage of Willow Creek’s unique downtown position in order  to provide a safe space for gang members to gather for this unique recovery program.  Willow’s various other programs, ministries, and partners provide a holistic backdrop and support network for the recovering gang member. Gangs Anonymous provides its services to gang members from any and all gang ministries in the Chicago area, with the hope that the recovered gang member will be able to go back into his own neighborhood and bring a positive influence to the neighborhood through a local church. In doing so, its hoped that recovering gang members will meet others who are in the same situation and that those relationships will ultimately help break down the walls of hate and violence that separate so many parts of Chicago.

 For further information contact the following:

Ron Gorny
Crossfire
Crossfire.willowcreek@gmail.com

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PRISON PRAYER PARTNERS

Prison Prayer Partners (PPP) is a part of the Crossfire Gang Outreach that links men and women in the church who are willing to dedicate time, energy, and prayer to specific men and women who are incarcerated in Cook County Jail, as well as in other Illinois correctional facilities. Applications to be part of this program must be made to the Crossfire staff by both inmates and church members. For more information contact:

Ron Gorny
Crossfire
773.294.8849
crossfire.willowcreek@gmail.com

Gaius Cosman
Willow Creek Prison Ministry
gcosman@foxvalley.net

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GOSO

GOSO (Go Serve Others) is the entrepreneurial arm of Crossfire Gang Outreach. GOSO is an urban agricultural endeavor that already has successful ventures in St. Charles, Lawndale, and Inglewood (http://letsgoso.org/). Plans are to expand this successful program into other neighborhoods in coming years. The program consists of neighborhood people banding together to raise crops on abandoned city blocks and selling the produce to participating food companies for a profit. GOSO not only helps struggling families to enhance their incomes, but helps to instill a sense of pride in self and neighborhood. The program can be especially helpful for gang members who are coming out of jail with no prospect of a job in sight.  For more information contact:

Varan Purkett
Executive Director
GOSO10
South Riverside Plaza
Suite 1800
Chicago IL 60606
312.474.6453
http://letsgoso.org/
http://info@let’s GOSO.org

Ron Gorny
Crossfire Gang Outreach
crossfire.willowcreek@gmail.org
773.294.8849

* * *

WOMAN 2 WOMAN

When a gang member is incarcerated, it’s often the mom and other family members that suffer the most. They remain in the hood and are subject to both opposition threats and heartless neighborhood sneers. Woman 2 Woman is a program to provide the moms of gang members with the support and help they need. It’s a program to help build respect and to develop potential in moms and their families. Holler at us if you are interested. Here’s a rap for all you moms:

Momma don’t cry no more – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx-NPke2dVU&feature=related

CHESS (Chicago Entrepreneurial Skills School

CHESS (Chicago Entrepreneurial Skills School) is a program designed to help inmates develop skills that will help them start their own businesses once they are released from Jail. The program is patterned after the Prison Entrepreneurial Program (PEP) in Texas (go to: http://www.prisonentrepreneurship.org/).  The idea is to create classes of individuals who are willing and able to learn and develop creative business opportunities. We expect to bring in experts in the business world to help hone the skill set of these men before they leave prison so they can get a running start on their own businesses.  These experts would include university professors, local business leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts in the social graces. The idea would be to build into these individuals the ethics, skills, and graces that a good Christian Businessman would employ in  their own business. Because this set of individuals will have a difficult time in the traditional job market, it is important to give them new sills that u  in today’s job market.  This gives them skills that they can use to build their own legitimate  businesses without having to rely on people who would view their arrest and incarceration  records as a hiring deterrent. This is a still developing program so there are no current classes or meeting times, but if you are interested in this program, stay tuned for future developments. Feel free to contact me if you are interested or if you have friends who might be.

BOOK ‘EM

A very productive way to minister to guys and gals is by providing them with solid Christian books. Book ’em is an educational ministry aimed at getting books into the hands of prisoners so that they can read and come to have a better understanding of just who God is. If you have books that you would like to donate to Book ’em, please get in touch with Crossfire so we can arrange to have them processed. The books must be soft covers andcan  not be leather bound. AND, if you have friends or relatives that you think could prosper from some good Christian books, please let us know. This ministry takes place primarily in Cook County Jail as some of the other facilities do not allow books at all. OK, let’s Book ’em!

 

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PARTNER PROGRAMS

Crossfire partners with numerous organizations throughout the Chicagoland area to ensure that the young people we are working with have the best chance at putting their lives back together through a combination spiritual, educational , and occupational opportunities. Besides Willow Creek Community Church, Crossfire has intimate connections with GOSO (http://www.letsgoso.org/) which has become the entrepreneurial arm of the ministry. With GOSO’s many other partners, we are able to expand the realm of opportunity even further. Other partners include GRIP Outreach for Youths (http://gripyouth.com/), Breakthrough Urban Ministries (http://www.breakthrough.org/), Teen Challenge Chicago (http://www.teenchallengeil.com/chicago/), Gangs to Grace (New Life Covenant Church), Jobs for Youths (http://www.jfychicago.org/jfy/jfy_main.html), and Partners with Youth (http://www.chicagopartnerswithyouth.org/). There are numerous other partners, both private and institutional, but we are always on the look out for new partners who can bring a new infusion of funding, energy, and opportunity to the Crossfire ministry.  These kids are down and nearly out, but we know they have great worth to our Heavenly Father and, as a result of that conviction, we stand in the crossfire for them.

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Comments
  1. Mary Galligan says:

    Crossfire:

    I am a doctoral student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and would like to speak to someone who coordinates the program’s activities about talking to former/transitioning gang members about his/her experiences. I have an interest in gangs and I am currently trying to create a more comprehensive intervention/prevention model that could serve Chicago communities better in the fight against gangs. My model focuses on the basic needs children, adolescents, and young adults need in order to live happy and meaningful lives; gangs offer an alternative to meet those needs when he or she cannot find them within his or her family or community. By understanding the ways in which gangs fulfill a purpose for these individuals, it is my opinion that better allocation of federal funding can be possible along with programs that aim to meet those needs. I would appreciate it more than I can say if I could meet in person with a program coordinator or individual who is responsible for who can participate in these programs to discuss my possible involvement in your organization further.

    My hope is to bring change to Chicago’s neighborhoods in a realistic, needs-based way in order make gang membership scarcer and scarcer. This could only be possible if more community programs offering the resources Crossfire and others like it are in existence.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. My name is Mary Galligan and you can reach me via email.

    Sincerely,

    Mary Galligan

    • Ron says:

      Hi Mary

      I do have some thoughts on your posting and have some key people/organizations for you to talk with. I am in the process of beginning a program that takes into account these same considerations. Let me know when you will have some time and we may be able to meet up sometime to discuss this more. I’m at the University of Chicago but could meet somewhere else too. My telephone number (cell) is 773.294.884. Call me and we can arrange a time to talk, OK?

  2. Karina says:

    Hello,

    I have a 16yr old stepson that has some gang related tattoos. Are there any resouces or programs that I can enroll him in? I desperately want to get rid of them. His father and I have enrolled him in GED classes since he decided to drop out of high school. His teacher says he is doing well in class. Please help or send any information of any resources that you may know of.

    Thanks In Advance

    • Ron says:

      Hello Karina-

      Can you tell me where you live? Is your son open to talking to others, especially former gang members? Or to me? You can reach me with additional details at my primary e-mail address:

      rlg2@uchicago.edu

      I hope to hear from you soon,

      Ron

    • Ron says:

      Hi Karina-

      I have not heard back from you. This is probably not what you are looking for but I’m posting a link here that may help as an alternative to removing the tatoos if the cost is prohibitive:

      http://www.ink180ministry.com/help-ink-180.html

      Ron

      • Emily says:

        Ron,

        I know the founder if Ink 180. Chris is a great guy and very passionate about his project. He has put his life and soul into this organization as well as his passion. I highly suggest Ink 180, he is there for support and someone to talk to as well. I knew him before his foundation, I actually met him through my church and he has done a few of my tattoos. Best of luck to all.

        -Emily

  3. Sirseal Johnson says:

    Hello,

    My little brother is in some deep trouble and I need help, helping him. I live in Idaho and can’t be there physically but want to help as much as I can. He is 21 years and takes care of his five year old daughter. I very worried about them both and hope someone, somewhere, can help me. Please this is a life or death matter. I wouldn’t put this out there if I didn’t need the help and guidance. Thanks in advance

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