Adam Toledo’s family settled on a property in rural Wisconsin for Adam’s Place, a nonprofit project designed to help vulnerable youth escape the perilous attraction of the downtown streets that killed Adam.
Adam was 13 when he was shot once in the chest and killed by a Chicago police officer on March 29th.
Adam’s Place is being built on a 70-acre farm near Potosi, Wisconsin and was chosen by the Toledo family attorney, Joel Hirschhorn, because it is three and a half hours drive from Chicago and two and a half hours from Milwaukee.
Adam’s mother Betty Toledo and her lawyers held a community meeting in Potosi on Wednesday to discuss rumors about the project and answer questions. About 150 people took part.
“What I really want is to have Adam back, and I can’t,” Toledo said at the meeting. “But we can try to help other families protect their sons from all the temptations that brought Adam into the streets the night he was killed. We want Adam’s Place to be a safe place where boys grow up and learn to be responsible young men. “
Adam’s Place is modeled after the successful Boys Farm Christian utility in Newberry, South Carolina.
“I appreciate the opportunity Adam’s Place can offer young people to learn and grow in a safe and healthy rural setting, away from the roadside lure,” said Robert Keeney, chairman of the Grant County Board of Directors, in an email.
Teachers, parents, farm neighbors, and three Grant County officers were among the crowd at the community meeting. Many were concerned about the potential of gang violence in their community and the lack of resources available to host new students. The Chicago Sun-Times checked a recording of the meeting.
Betty Toledo and Adam provided
“We don’t take children who are in gangs because unfortunately we can’t help them,” said Hirschhorn. “We take the children with us who stand on the edge, who are lured from the street. We hope to intercept these children and introduce them to a rural setting before their lives lead to the tragedy that the Toledo family endured. “
The boys at Adam’s Place will be between 10 and 14 years old and will enroll in the Potosi School District and start attending classes from August 2022. Potosi has a population of around 2,600 people and an elementary school, middle school, and high school.
“Although, as everywhere, we have our own problems and problems, we are really excited to see what we have in front of us here in the Potosi region and will do our due diligence to understand the students who come in and to ensure that we have all the resources needed to meet the needs of these students, “Potosi School Supt. Kurt Cohen said in an interview.
Plans for Adam’s Place include a small welcome center and administration office, a barn, a 5,000-square-foot two-level house for up to 10 adolescent boys, and an adjoining apartment for the family.
The purchase of the farm on Dutch Holly Road was completed on July 2nd. An application for the development of an apartment building and a furnishing area will be submitted this week by Hirschhorn. He hopes construction can start in the spring.
“We’re here to get into this community, we’re not here to take anything out,” said Hirschhorn. “We are not looking for public funds. This is a $ 2.5-3 million project. We will employ at least seven people who will hopefully come from this community. “
So far, $ 330,000 has been raised.