This weekend the growing nightmare of Chicago violence took the life of Melissa Ortega, an 8-year-old little girl who came from Mexico. Melissa came here seeking the American Dream of finding a better life and instead her life was brutally extinguished. There are no words to capture the collective pain and outrage caused by her senseless murder. Casa Central stands in solidarity against violence and stands with Melissa’s family, and all who mourn the loss of a bright, sweet girl whose short-lived existence ended so tragically. However, words of outrage and mourning are not enough. More action must be taken so that the lives of other Melissas are not lost.
We at Casa Central commit to continue our efforts to make Chicago a more peaceful city. Casa Central’s Violence Prevention & Intervention Program works to strike a balance of prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies, which prove to be ever more important in our communities. Casa Central remains committed to continue to strengthen our mission to transform lives in the communities we serve by broadening our reach and improving our Violence Prevention & Intervention Program, which has worked to help families and young children heal from the trauma of violence and disrupt the cycle of a potential life of violence in the future.
Casa Central calls on community organizations, our government leaders and fellow Chicagoans to recommit to taking concrete actions to bring lasting peace to our city so that all of our children have the opportunity to grow up and fulfill their dreams.
Martin R. Castro
President & CEO