ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rock House Kids, which works to provide a safe environment for Rockford’s inner-city children, has found its neighborhood plagued with shootings over the last several days.
Rock House Kids is located at 1325 7th Street. On Wednesday, a 24-year-old man was shot in the parking lot of Kwik Mart. The day before, a 46-year-old man was killed in a shooting around the corner, on 12th Avenue.
Director Dee Lacny says she works tirelessly to protect the children in her care.
“Every child that walks in this building is my kid, so when I hear about a shooting, it’s like one of my kids is in danger,” she said.
Lacny says Rock House Kids’ mission is to keep at-risk children off the streets.
“They’re broken. The kids are broken. They don’t even know how to process that. It’s hard for them to process a natural death, and when there’s a senseless death… how do you explain that?” she asked.
Rock House Kids serves hundreds of children, with more teens looking for guidance in the last few years, according to Lacny.
“They need to keep their heads low. We tell them so many times, keep your head down,” Lacny said. “That’s what we say. And, we give the kids bikes, so this way, they can flee an area if needed.”
Lacny says she loses sleep at night, hoping the next shooting victim isn’t one of her children.
“People ask me, what’s a success? They’re alive. They’re 18-years-old and they’re alive. To some people, they don’t get that. Come down here and you’ll get it,” she said.