ArchAngel Youth Services, Inc.
In the 1980’s the Unites States of America witnessed the explosion of the Crack Cocaine epidemic. This epidemic was the catalyst to an intensified militarization of urban America by both street organizations and police departments. The crime and murder rates soared. Addiction decimated families. Throughout the nation, state authorities were intensifying child placement rates, juvenile courts were taxed and social institutions could not keep pace with the impact of drugs and violence on urban America.
In Illinois and other states, legislatures passed laws that had dramatic impact on the stability of families in the Black community. The adult populations were being diminished by drug addiction and criminal conviction. Similarly, the youth population was being victimized by the epidemic of crime and addiction. The social, political, law enforcement and educational policies made critical miscalculations in public policies seeking to redress the problems.
Recognizing a need and a void of human development services and violence remediation for Black males and youth, Minister Michael Muhammad founded ArchAngel Youth Services (AAYS) in 1999. Operating today as ArchAngel Human Development, AAYS was established to provide Human Development services to urban families and communities in Chicago, especially those disadvantaged groups that suffer from poverty, unemployment, and socially dysfunctional institutions. Much of the focus of the organizations work deal with the youth population and issues pertain to youth development. We also focus on Parent Skill Development. We have also developed an expertise in delivering training and remediation for the formerly incarcerated, as well as adults in vocational training environments.
Since it’s conceptualization, AAYS has implemented innovative community-based programs throughout Chicago’s many communities. We have offered youth services to thousands of youth on Chicago’s west and south sides through our Tribe 19 Youth Group and after-school programs. Along with servicing at-risk youth, we have provided home visitation services designed to supplement our youth services. We also provide extensive Parenting Classes for under-served, at-risk families.
AAYS was born out of belief that every human being deserves to be properly habilitated and rehabilitated with true compassion
In 2001, AAYS began to provide Adult Life Skills and Job Readiness trainings for adults. We designed one-of-a-kind content-based life skills curriculum that was subsequently granted a copy right from the Unites States Copyright Office. We expanded our Life Skills workshops and trainings to also offer services to those seeking employment in the construction trades. We have over twenty-one training workshop service items connected to our life skills training programs.
AAYS has also provided Professional Development workshops for organizations engaged in violence prevention and intervention. We have been engaged at the highest levels with so-called street gangs facilitating mediation, conflict resolutions and cease-fires. AAYS has also been a co-organizer of two national gang summits. We provide workshops for professionals and laymen on gang culture.
We also provide Professional Development workshops for primary and secondary educators. We currently work in collaboration with staff member of the National Parent Teacher Association and the Center for Inner-City Studies of Northeastern Illinois University in designing these trainings. We also offer a wide menu of in-school and after-school services. These services include mentoring, tutoring, counseling, leadership development and life skills training.
The populations we have delivered services to have been: wards of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; students and staff of the Chicago Public Schools; clients of the Illinois Department of Human Services; trainees of the Illinois Department of Transportation; Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development programs; LISC and United Way funded programs; trainees of the City of Chicago’s Construction Careers Council.
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