KIDS OFF THE BLOCK
To providing at-risk, low-income youth positive alternatives to gangs,
drugs, truancy, violence, and the juvenile justice system
Founded in 2003 by Diane Latiker, Kids Off the Block began as she opened her home to youth in her community to help them steer away from the negative influences they saw daily. Kids Off the Block (KOB, as it is widely known) began to work with youth, teens, and young adults ages 12-24 years old. After speaking with the young people about their issues and concerns, Diane offered homework help, mentoring, activities and a "safe place.” Through individual meetings and group discussions, new recruits were encouraged to assess their current situation, identify skills and a knowledge base needed to achieve the goals they have targeted. Starting out with ten youth from the neighborhood, almost 14 years later, KOB has serviced over 3,000 participants since it's inception.
The organization reaches out to the most “at-risk” youth in Chicago, IL 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 which 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. In addition to offering these educational and vocational services, Kids Off the Block also meets fundamental needs for these families through dinners and annual Christmas toy giveaways. READ MORE
Tokens was pleased to have had founder Diane Latiker as a part of our 2018 Thanksgiving at the Ryman show.