Newsmakers Making A Difference: Chris Baker, Owner Of INK 180 Ministry

Andy Dahn
April 04, 2018 - 8:01 am

Photos provided to WBBM Newsradio

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chris Baker grew up in south central Los Angeles.

"A lot of my friends were involved in gang activity," Baker said. "I lost a lot of those friends to murders and kids going away to prison and jail. I moved here with my family 10 years ago."

'Here' is Oswego. As he left issues of gang violence in LA behind, Baker encountered similar problems in his new home and wondered how he could help.

"We all say we want to see these different kinds of changes in our community and world, but what are we really doing to affect that change?"

Baker doubles as a tattoo artist and minister.

"It's highly unusual."

In 2011, he opened INK 180 Ministry in Oswego. Searching for a fresh start himself, Baker combined his tattoo talents and faith to give others a fresh start.

"We help people get rid of tattoos, marks, scars that kind of represented their old life," Baker said. "Whether that be a gang tattoo or branding related to sex trafficking."

Photos provided to WBBM Newsradio

Baker said the removal process can take a mental toll.

"When I'm sitting here with somebody, most of it is very difficult to listen to."

But he said more than anything, removals are rewarding. That's why they're offered free of charge.

"I get to do what I love and I get to see people change right in front of me."

As WBBM celebrates its 50th anniversary as Newsradio, this year we’ll be honoring 50 Newsmakers making a difference in the community.  Listen for reports each Tuesday.

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