More than a thousand people gathered Tuesday evening for the “Take Back Chicago” rally and town hall meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum. Members of various community organizations, activists and unions called attention to such issues as the minimum wage, affordable housing, a fair tax system, school closures and healthcare. Individuals asked... Read more »
It’s a chilly morning as Maricela Villegas hurries through the doors of the Woman, Infants and Children Lower West Side center at 1643 W. Cermak Road. She has a 1-year-old son and is pregnant with another child. Inside the center, a mini grocery store and pharmacy, where it’s toasty warm, Villegas picks up a prescription... Read more »
Last week, The Chicago Reporter team looked at the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. I took on the SNAP Challenge, trying to eat for one week on the SNAP allotment for an individual—in Illinois that comes to $35 a week, or just $5 a day. The experience was excruciating,... Read more »
Photos by Latricia Polk and Michelle Kanaar.
Nataki Rhodes has worked in the restaurant industry for more than a decade. During those years, Rhodes has always earned the state’s minimum wage. Her paycheck isn’t enough to cover rent, utilities, school supplies and groceries for herself and her son. She relies on the $200 in food stamps she received each month to get... Read more »
Food isn’t exactly the topic you’d expect to read about here. But more than you may think, it fits in with everything we cover at The Chicago Reporter. It’s an economic, it’s a justice and it’s certainly a social issue—all which we doggedly examine here. This week, food is much on your minds as we... Read more »
It’s been six months since Celia Peoples last saw her 14-year-old son. He is only five hours away from her home in the small downstate town of Harrisburg, Ill., but Peoples, who is unemployed and barely making ends meet, can’t afford to take a car or a bus to visit him. Peoples’ son is incarcerated... Read more »
One of the last vestiges of the Cabrini-Green public housing complex on Chicago’s Near North Side, the Frances Cabrini Rowhouses are not going down without a fight. The Cabrini-Green Local Advisory Council on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Housing Authority for what residents say are broken promises to rehab the complex and preserve... Read more »
Michael Tidmore and I recently met front of Daniel S. Wentworth Elementary School, a hulking brick building that sits on a residential block in Englewood. He wondered what’s going to happen to school buildings like this when they’re closed next year under Chicago Public Schools’ plan to shutter 61 facilities while consolidating students and staff.... Read more »
Lametrios West has made a point to separate himself from the trouble around him. Despite heavy rain and steady cracks of lightning, the 14-year-old Kershaw Elementary School student made his way on a recent afternoon to the nearby Teamwork Englewood, a community organization whose after-school programs draw boys and girls from the surrounding area. Here, he holes up to “get out of the neighborhood.”
Staying out of trouble means closing himself off from the outside world. “It’s hard but I can do it,” he says. “By staying in the house, going to school, coming here. The only areas where I go is where I know people.”...