GRAND CROSSING — Neighbors say a group of men are regularly holding illegal dice games across the street from a community of foster children on the South Side — and it needs to be stopped.
The neighbors said the dice games take place a few days a week across from SOS Children's Village, in the 7600 block of South Parnell. The village is a small community of children who live with full-time professionally trained foster parents in single-family homes.
“They have six to eight cars parked, money in their hand, drinking their beer,” said Maurice Vinson, who has lived on the 7500 block of South Parnell Avenue for eight years.
Throughout the day, the men can be seen outside drinking and gambling, neighbors said.
“You have to still conform to the culture that’s in here,” Vinson said. “And the culture that’s in here is the safety of children. [It's] not for you to bring your negative, ghetto activity into this area and say we have to accept it.”
One foster parent who asked not to be named said that the men play in a gangway between two homes. Her children are usually inside when they get started, so she isn’t too concerned, but she does worry about other children who are outside.
“They could be affected by that, in that there could be a fight that breaks out if someone loses money,” she said. Putting an end to the gambling would make the community safer, she said.
DeAudrey Davis, director of programs and services with the SOS Children's Village, said that she is aware of the situation. There is an 8 p.m. curfew in place for children in the village and the community is encouraged to be on watch, she added. She declined to comment further.
Vinson said he has contacted both the police and Ald. David Moore (17th) multiple times.
In an interview, Moore said he would not tolerate this type of behavior in his ward. But he has driven to the block three times and so far hasn’t witnessed the men in action, he said.
Chicago Police didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Vinson said that the men were always looking out for police and the game always ends before the authorities arrive. He has even asked one of the men to stop doing it.
“They think they have it down to a science, in terms of being caught, but we, as residents, we see you.”
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