CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s mayor’s plan to combat summertime violence calls on the community to step up in the fight.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams found one person with a unique and vested interest who is doing just that.
Thousands are expected at the House of Hope Thursday night to hear a plan and a call to end violence, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The man who put the event together knows firsthand the toll Chicago’s violence takes on families.
“I get asked by the mothers ‘Why, Mr. Leak? My son. My daughter. My little baby?'”
Longtime funeral director Spencer Leak Sr. has struggled to answer that question after burying so many victims of Chicago’s gun violence and he’s been hard on himself.
“I’ve not taken personal responsibility for the circumstances that caused this tragedy to be on your family,” Leak said.
That soul searching led to what Leak said is a “call to action” Thursday night at the House of Hope Church.
A gospel extravaganza, as Chicago’s often perilous summer begins. Choirs and speakers all calling for the entire community to stop violence.
“We as the citizens of City of Chicago must take personal responsibility for what is happening to our city.”
It is the message of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who announced her efforts to curb violence Thursday and is scheduled to attend the House of Hope event Thursday night.
“It’s not me. It’s not I. It’s our,” said Lightfoot.
Standing on corners and speaking from a pulpit, the message is the same: get involved.
“By seeking to share our values (including) character, morals, values, love, patience, in order to send our children from school into the summer, safe and sound.”
The doors at the House of Hope are open. The event begins at 7:00. It is free and open to the public.