Cook County Board President says federal support for summer youth job programs "has just kind of fallen off the cliff."
About 75 more young people from the city's most violent areas will get help finding a summer job with a boost in funding announced Monday by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
The additional funding, about $120,000, is headed to the One Summer Chicago and One Summer Plus programs.
"We're increasing our commitment to this important program because it's imperative that we do more to keep our children out of harm's way and in a safe environment," said Preckwinkle.
She said recent stories of violence compelled the county to find ways to do more for kids.
"This has been a very troubling summer, in terms of the level of violence, particularly on the weekends," said Preckwinkle. "When you’re faced with that kind of spike in violence, you need to figure out what you can do to be supportive of the efforts to reduce it, and this is one of the things we’re going to do."
The money won't be used to employ kids directly. Rather, it'll pay job mentors who help young people find jobs.
The county had already granted $145,000 to the programs, which are a partnership between several government agencies and organizations aimed at keeping kids busy and leading more responsible lives.