Each summer, the same cycle repeats itself: as the temperatures rise, crime statistics also increase, bringing with them news coverage and community responses that often expose and inflame the deep racial and class divisions in Chicago.A series of violent clashes over the last few months in Lakeview have sparked heated community meetings and online discussions. Although the responses have been as diverse as the LGBTQ community itself, some individuals have blamed the recent attacks on LGBTQ youth of color, and have gone so far as to call for social services for queer youth to be shut down in the neighborhood. The situation is complicated, but youth are not the problem.Crossroads Fund was the first foundation to support LGBTQ activism in Chicago. We were the first funder of Gay Horizons, which many years later went on to become the Center on Halsted. And many of our grantees are led by LGBTQ people of color, particularly youth. As a long time funder of LGBTQ issues and concerns, we wanted to take this opportunity to showcase the responses of some of our grantee organizations and their members to this conflict, and insure that their voices are considered as the LGBTQ community works for a resolution to the recent conflicts. Lakeview Action Coalition:Lakeview Action Coalition members are very concerned about violence that has already occurred, and the violence that could be caused by individuals spewing hateful and racist statements.  These statements could lead to hate crimes against youth and the targeting of youth by the police. While we work with the police, agencies, neighbors and the alderman on creative solutions to dealing with crimes on Halsted street, we need to recognize that violence is a citywide issue.   We must look at the overall causes, like cuts in youth jobs and lack of investment in communities across Chicago. We need to protect everyone’s safety in our community, including the safety of youth of color.  We need more services in our community for vulnerable populations, not less. Aisha Truss-Miller, Youth Program Coordinator, Affinity Community Services:“One of the main issues is economic disparity and the allocation of resources. Since Lakeview is one of the neighborhoods in the city with a lot of resources, that’s why people flock to Lakeview, regardless if they exude negative behavior or not. There’s an attraction to that community, to tourists, to other people within the city.One solution around safety is making sure that communities outside of Lakeview have adequate resources for young people to tap into. Everyone is noticing that there is economic disparity over our city and certain resources are lacking in certain neighborhoods and there is no kind of connection to different neighborhoods like Lakeview to Englewood – Lakeview to Humboldt Park. All the queer focused youth resources are in Lakeview, like that’s the only place that young queer people are. [Because] most of the funding for queer youth goes to Lakeview, then that’s the core youth that’s going to go.”  The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance youth committee, Board, staff and volunteers:In the wake of well-publicized violence in Lakeview, the launch of the group ‘Take Back Boystown’, and the vitriolic CAPS meeting that garnered the attention of every major local media outlet, it is time for the community to push past the two-sided rhetoric of shouted insults and boos to uncover the complex, sensitive and difficult threads at work in both the violence itself and the reactions to it.At the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance), a youth organizing group committed to ensuring Illinois schools fully address sexual orientation and gender identity, we are committed to participating in a process that seeks to surface the issues of ageism, racism, classism and transphobia inherent in the violence and community reactions.  We propose a format where individuals and organizations that are committed to community dialogue on these issues come together with middle and high school-aged youth and young adult voices being central.  This process must include youth, young adults, Lakeview residents and community-based organizations, queer organizations of color, youth-led organizations, LGBT community centers and businesses, and transgender and gender-variant focused organizations.  Read full statement…Ahkia, Gender Just Member:“One solution would be to get the community involved. If the community is so threatened they should get to know the youth. They should get out there and stop depending on the police to do everything, because they don’t come all the time, so we stop depending on them. Why don’t you guys change it? We’ll go out with you and patrol. Get to know our faces so that you know that when we are around it’s not like that. Get to know the people who aren’t causing trouble, because it’s not all of us. Put that money into the youth programs, into the youth shelter, into creating jobs for youth, into something that is productive and empowering instead of so oppressing.”