The city of Chicago is in crisis. Young men growing up on the south side of Chicago live in fear and without hope. Compared to their peers, they are 4x more likely to live in poverty, 2.7x more likely to be convicted of gun and drug charges and 2x more likely to be incarcerated. Behind these statistics and the tragic stories played out on the nightly news, therein lies the epidemic of fatherlessness. 

The Magnitude of the Epidemic

  • One in three children are born to unmarried parents. (Gallup Survey)
  • An estimated 24.7 million children do not live with their biological father. (National Fatherhood Initiative) 
  • 43% of urban teens live away from their father. (Gallup Survey) 
  • 42% of fathers fail to see their children at all after divorce. (Journal of Marriage of Family)
  • Since 1960 the rate of U.S. boys without fathers has quadrupled. (US Bureau of Census)

The Consequences 

Whether a boy's father died, abandoned him or is emotionally unavailable, a teenage boy without a guide will lose his way. Fatherlessness is the single largest contributing factor to pain and hopelessness in children, especially in the inner-cities of America.  It is responsible for some staggering statistics.

•    68% of all suicides are teen suicides [US Department of Health]
•    90% of all runaways and homeless are children [US Department of Health]
•    85% of children with behavior problems [Center for Disease Control]
•    71% of high school dropouts [National Principals Association Report]
•    85% of youths in prison [Texas Department of Corrections]

Young Knights is committed to making a difference and turning the tide on this crisis. We believe the key is found in "turning boys into great men!"


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