Camaraderie and Cranberry Sauce

November 22, 2007

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A nonprofit youth group that promotes anti-violence in Chicago is hosting its first-ever Thanksgiving dinner for teens.

Kids Off the Block Founder Diane Latiker is known for opening her Roseland home to teenagers.

Low-income and at-risk youth often sit around her dining room table. Today she is preparing a turkey feast in a tent across the street from her home. She expects three-hundred teens to come.

LATIKER: The majority of the youth that are coming are youth that are in the streets – that's their environment, the streets. That's all that they have as far as recreation or resources.

They'll be there for the camaraderie and cranberry sauce. And they'll take a pledge of nonviolence.

She says the dinner has another purpose – mending the frayed relationship between teens and the police.

Officers will be on hand to volunteer…and talk to young people in a different setting.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.