The Neighborhood Advocate

Community Day Made Jobs and Services More Accessible for 100 Chicago Residents

Youth Advocate Programs Administrative Manager Brianna Brewer and Program Coordinator Deonte Dixon with Washington Heights Violence Interruption Program Participant V. Dowdell

Chicago – Thanks to a recent Community Day event, 100 Chicago residents are closer to finding employment and having access to healthcare and social services. A partnership with Chicago CityKey, the April event helped people of all ages obtain identification (ID) cards.

“Young people need ID cards for summer jobs; but the reality is that thousands of Chicago residents with transient living situations, are unhoused, or who have spent years incarcerated are locked out of essential resources because they can’t easily access birth certificates and other documentation required to obtain state ID cards,” said  Ken Lewis, Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. Washington Heights Violence Interruption Program Director. “An ID card is a key that unlocks doors to jobs, housing, medication, and other services needed to secure employment, health, freedom and happiness.”

YAP joined the Chicago Bengals youth sports program of the Tomlinson Education Athletic & Mentoring (TEAM) Foundation to co-host the event, which also provided free food and family activities. YAP, a national nonprofit in 34 states and the District of Columbia, partners with youth justice, child welfare, behavioral health, and other systems to provide community-based wraparound services as an alternative to youth incarceration, residential care, and neighborhood violence.

Event participants Najwa and David

CityKey is an optional, valid, government-issued photo ID card available to all Chicago residents regardless of age, housing status, criminal record, immigration status, or gender identity. The card serves as a government- issued ID, a Chicago Public Library card, a Chicago Transit Authority Ventra Card, and a Chicago Rx prescription drug discount card.

The YAP Washington Heights Violence Interruption program, funded through a grant from the Chicago Department of Public Health, provides violence interruption services, street and hospital outreach, crisis intervention, peace building activities, family engagement, individual wraparound services, and conflict resolution.

For information on CityKey ID requirements, please visit Learn more about YAP at and follow the nonprofit on Twitter at @YAPInc.

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