A group of citizens met at St. Martin’s on May 14 for an On The Table discussion sponsored by The Chicago Community Trust. They met to compose a letter to the newly elected Mayor, Lori Lightfoot of their concerns and aspirations for the Austin community. The gathering brought together 20 individuals who represented Introspect Youth Services, District 21 PTA, Youth Guidance, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and neighbors from the Austin community. There was a consensus that the community needs additional programs that build relationships between youth and elders to promote respect. Also reported was a need for wrap around mental health services, as well as employment opportunities, affordable housing, parenting classes for teens, and safe spaces for youth programs in the neighborhood. A couple of residents spoke of the deplorable conditions in a neighborhood shelter. The group planned to meet again during the week of June 10 to assess the safety concerns for the children and families living in the facility and to follow up with all the issues discussed at the meeting.