Adam Toledo’s family on Tuesday announced the founding of Adam’s Place, a nonprofit organization to help at-risk youth from Chicago and other Midwestern cities steer clear of trouble.
It will be a rural sanctuary for young people who have been historically underserved, according to a news release issued by the family’s attorneys. The group has a contract to purchase farmland that’s about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago.
Adam was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in Little Village in the early hours of March 29.
“As those of us who live in Little Village and other Chicago neighborhoods know, the needs are great. But the hearts here are big,” Adam’s mother Betty Toledo said in a statement. “We have seen grace in the peaceful protests, the colorful murals, the flowers and candles, and especially in the love and compassion shown to us by our friends, neighbors, and strangers across the country, many of whom have known the pain of losing a child.”
Adam’s Place, Inc., is seeking federally tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. Fundraising has begun. Members of the Toledo family will serve on the board of directors.
Modeled after the Boys Farm in Newberry, South Carolina, Adam’s Place will provide a “safe and nurturing haven” where adolescents can learn “to care for the natural world, others, and themselves, away from the dangers of urban streets,” according to the release.
A formal announcement is planned for Wednesday in front of a mural near Ogden and Lawndale avenues, painted in honor of Adam by artist Milton Coronado. Wednesday would have been Adam’s 14th birthday.
The Toledo family described Adam as a “loving son and a good boy, who had never been in trouble with the police” in the release. They said he snuck out of the house March 29 and was lured by older people and the “thrill of the street.”
“Even as the Toledo family seeks justice for Adam, they also know that many families in their community and elsewhere struggle to keep their own children out of harm’s way,” the release said.