Through the power of a non-profit, Leave No Veteran Behind, a program called “Safe Passage” is making an enormous difference in the lives of children on the rough city streets of Chicago, Illinois.
Military veterans are tasked with making sure kids remain safe on their way to and from school (as captured in the video above) and, in return, their student loan debt is lessened.
The organization even helps former service members with employment and transitional jobs. According to the program, more than 400 veterans have gone through the program since 2011.
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In response to the widespread violence among youth in parts of Chicago, LNVB approached the Chicago school system to see if veterans could help. Tipped off about repeated violent incidents on the corner of 35th and Martin Luther King Drive, LNVB deployed 20 veterans to the location to stand guard, positively engage with youth and maintain the peace. Several weeks of calm led to expansion, and now, more than 400 veterans have participated in the Safe Passage program, positioned at several hot spots for crime in tough Chicago neighborhoods. On any given school day, about 130 veterans patrol the streets. As a result, the Chicago police has seen a significant decline in violence in the communities served.