Things That Matter

Adam Toledo’s Family Opens New Youth Home For At-Risk Teen Boys In Memory Of Adam

After a series of high-profile shootings of people of color, much of the country has been forced to jump from outrage to outrage as young Black and Brown Americans are murdered by the very people meant to protect them.

Adam Toledo was one such victim. The 13-year-old was gunned down by Chicago Police after a short foot chase, and although police insist he had a weapon, the community was outraged at the child’s untimely death. Now, as his family celebrates what would have been his 14th birthday, plans are being made for a memorial and youth home that would help kids just like Adam.

Adam Toledo’s family plans to launch Adam’s Place – a home for at-risk youth.

The family of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, recently announced that they will build a home where at-risk boys could go to escape the dangers of the city streets. In a press release, the family further detailed the plans for the site and announced it would be called Adam’s Place.

According to the press release, Adam’s Place will be built in Wisconsin across 70 acres, about 3 hours outside Chicago.

“Fifty acres will remain in cultivated farmland under a three-year lease with the current tenant farmer with most of the remaining 20 acres in pasture for grazing cattle and sheep. The purchase of the property was completed July 2,” the release said, noting that the facility would include “a small welcome center and administrative office; a barn; and a 5,000 square foot split-level home to house no more than 10 boys, along with an attached apartment for the house parents and their family.”

Since losing Adam, the family has worked hard to help other families who struggle to keep their kids away from a life in the streets and out of harm’s way. The family has already raised nearly a third of its $1 million goal – all from private donations. Adam’s Place added that it will be modeled on Boys Farm in Newberry, S.C, noting that “the mission of Adam’s Place is to provide a safe and nurturing haven in a rural setting where at-risk youth from Chicago and other Midwestern cities can develop skills, values, and self-worth by learning to care for the natural world, others, and themselves.”

Adam’s family hopes to help other kids escape the lure of the streets that contributed to the death of Adam.

During the initial announcement of the project, Adam’s mother hoped she could help save kids like her son.

“What I really want is to have Adam back, and we can’t do that,” Betty Toledo wrote in a speech that was read by someone else because she was too emotional to speak. “We can try to help other families protect their sons from the temptations that took Adam into the street that night, the night he was killed.”

In that speech, the family also alluded to the narrative that emerged in the wake of Adam’s death, that he has been involved with gangs.

“Gangs are preying on our most vulnerable, corrupting these young minds with promises of familia and lucre,” she said during a press conference.

Adam’s death made national headlines and brought new scrutiny to the Chicago Police Department’s use-of-force policy, particularly after the release of bodycam footage that showed Adam wasn’t holding a gun the instant he was shot.

“He was a little kid, he made one mistake, and everyone is just judging him and assuming things from the last few moments and minutes of his life,” said Esmeralda Toledo, the boy’s 24-year-old sister, in an interview with ABC. Nobody, she said, “is deserving the way he died or the bad, negative things being said about him.”

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