Chicago, USA. For the past 20 years, Fr. Bruce Wellems, CMF has been an animator, a confidant, and at times, the only advocate for many problematic youth in the “Back of the Yards” barrio of Chicago.
As pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Fr. Bruce has developed various initiatives on behalf of immigrants, especially for the youth, whom he has helped in drug addiction prevention, delinquency, and gang violence.
One of his proposals, in conjunction with the Mayor’s office, is the construction of five group homes extending for two blocks in the “Back of the Yards” barrio of Chicago.
This initiative seeks to provide real homes for the many “at risk” children and their parents which will be reinforced by creating a secure family environment with the help of various social workers. In these homes, a favorable balance will be established between education, privacy, and vigilance. For this, they will follow the model of the “Aldeas Infantiles SOS” [Small Youth Villages SOS], which have two other similar groups of homes in the State of Illinois.
The web page of the “New York Times” newspaper has also covered this effort. Consult the following for more information: