There was a gang shooting a couple blocks from our home in Steubenville the other night. [We live near the border of a pretty hardscrabble Rust Belt area here. Let’s just say it isn’t Mar-a-Lago.] A teenage boy was killed and two others ended up in the hospital with gun shot wounds. Some of the city came together tonight downtown in the upstairs of a place called the Dirty Vagabonds. This is a Catholic/Christian ministry for latch key kids living in a rather rough area. I joined them. As I saw town adults and Franciscan University students huddled in corners talking with these kids, and as I heard modern praise and worship music coming from a service upstairs, I was heartened on one level — yet tremendously concerned on another level. That is, these kids were going to have to leave this safe space at some point and head back into their respective ‘war zones.’ Neighborhood violence, parents on drugs, run down houses, not enough food in the kitchen… Our administration would be heavy on urban renewal and giving these kids a way better shot at life in general. Note: Our family lived near the inner city of Cleveland for five years doing outreach work with a group of Catholic Workers there. We saw how bad it can be for these kids. Most all of us who are better off should be sacrificing way more (money, volunteer time…) to shift this around, quick.