Kids Off the Block (KOB) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2003 by Diane Latiker who opened her home to youth in her community to help them steer away from the negative influences they saw daily.
KOB works with youth, teens, and young adults ages 12-24 years old, offering homework help, mentoring, activities and a “safe place.”
Starting out with ten youth from the neighborhood, almost 12 years later, KOB has serviced over 2,000 participants since its inception.
The “at-risk” youth are involved in Health Workshops, Cultural Events, Educational Tutoring and celebrations in their honor for achievements and participation. The density and variety of programming invites these youngsters to come “off the streets” and become engaged in events that are conducted in a safe and caring environment.
The organization’s key objectives are:
- To create a positive environment where youth can feel free to be creative;
- To provide exposure to other cultures, ethnic groups, communities, and activities;
- To work with each youth as an individual to promote continued positive development;
- To cultivate skills and meet the needs of the young people we serve; and
- To celebrate their accomplishments.
The organization reaches out to the most “at-risk” youth in Chicago to provide them with access to a path that leads away from self-destruction and economic impoverishment. In order to achieve its Mission, KOB provides a multi-service youth program which focuses on those aspects of young people’s lives that promote good health, educational achievement, and personal and social growth. The organization describes itself as a “holistic care center for prevention, personal growth and empowerment.” KOB provides a safe place “off the block” especially for those young people who do not feel welcomed by traditional youth programs.
Kids Off the Block is seeking donors to raise $15,000 for its 2016 summer basketball league. The program will serve 500 young people, grades 5 through 8, three days a week. Funds will help the program provide a secure facility, hire security, offer workshops on health, education, and mentoring, host an All Star and Championship Game and give youth a safe place during Chicago’s summer months.