Every day, we see firsthand many of the damaging consequences of not having a father. You see it too—on the nightly news, in the headlines, in statistics, perhaps even in your own community. In fact, the breakdown of the family structure is directly related to the eruption of violence in our cities. Over the past four years, we’ve seen 531 children under the age of 21 murdered here in Chicago alone. And many of these victims and perpetrators come from fatherless homes. When dad is not in the home to teach the value of human life, when he’s not there to affirm the purpose and identity of his children, far too often youth turn to the streets—to gangs, drugs, sex, and other destructive behaviors—all to fill the void.

At GRIP “Life-on-Life” refers to an ongoing process of relationship development that is so much more than what people commonly think of as mentorship. It’s simply doing life together, modeling what it means to be a man or woman of God—not just during a program or in a classroom—but while in our homes, running errands, playing ball, working hard at a job, serving others in the community, or studying the Bible together.

All of our “mentors” (whom we call coaches) complete a thorough volunteer application process and receive ongoing training and support from our staff. Our coaches also commit to investing a minimum of six hours each week for at least one year intentionally connecting with their teens in and outside of GRIP’s programs.

The goal is for each coach and teenager to

08/26/2016 - 8:30am