Andrew Holmes, Chicago crisis responder: 'I'm a person that knows the pain'

Andrew Holmes and relative
Andrew Holmes, cousin to Takiya Holmes, and Patsy Holmes, grandmother of Takiya, talk about their young relative fighting for her life at University of Chicago Comers Children's Hospital on Feb. 12, 2017 in Chicago. Photo credit (Photo by Nancy Stone/ Chicago Tribune/TNS)

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- At countless crime scenes and community tragedies over the past decade, there's been a familiar face comforting families and giving updates and being an important liaison between the community and police.

This week's Difference Maker is community activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes.

“Deeply down inside, I know what they're going through,” Holmes says.

That's because he's also lost loved ones to violence. His daughter was shot and killed in 2015, and two years later, his 11-year-old cousin was also shot and killed.

“I'm a person that knows the pain, and knows what it is to miss your baby,” Holmes says. “I miss my baby every day.”

Born and raised in Chicago, Holmes knows how hard life can be for young people who don't think they have options.  

He does his best to help guide them, especially in cases where they've lost a loved one and might be considering retaliation.

“We try to keep a positive mind and a positive heart -- don't let them get that bad blood inside them and control them because that can happen easily.”

His latest endeavor is called "Lock It Down." It’s a program he's hoping will save lives by educating people about the dangers of unsecured guns in homes.

“So many of these children are getting ahold of these guns and they're taking their own life,” Holmes said.

He and his partners have already handed out more than 4,000 gun locks.

“If I can help another family,” Holmes says, “it's a blessing to me.”

Andrew Holmes comforts a Chicago woman who has lost a loved one through violence. Photo credit Getty Images

Listen to WBBM Newsradio now on Audacy!
Sign up and follow WBBM Newsradio
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today