Category: Hunger & Housing
Start Date: September 25, 2019
As many of you may know I am a teacher. One of the most heart breaking things as an educator that I have seen is the lack of resources available to many of my former students in some of the less affluent neighborhoods in Chicago. Chicago is one of the most socioeconomically segregated cities within the United States.
Why does this matter? It directly impacts our society. Education is the change to challenge their futures. BUT NOT WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO MEET A CHILD AND THEIR FAMILIES HIGHER NEEDS, FIRST. Socioeconomic status affects a child's education, their families ability to be successful, as well as directly impacts our society.
Last year, I was directly impacted when my students had the opportunity to volunteer at the food pantry located in West Humboldt Park. Here's some information on the how the mission promotes positive social justice solutions.
West Humboldt Park faces many challenges. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. To help you understand the extent of the challenges, here are some quick stats: (Source: Metro Chicago YMCA. “Kelly Hall Environmental Scan.” Chicago, IL, September 16, 2011)
-97% of children surrounding the Mission qualify for free or reduced lunch
-42% unemployment rate
-$11,000 per capita yearly income
-67% high school drop-out rate
-70% of the neighborhood is overweight or obese
-One of the highest juvenile arrest rates in the city
-Food desert, defined by the USDA as an area with insufficient access to fresh, healthy food.
As these statistics show, our neighborhood has a very great need
for healthy food, clothing, other basic material goods, educational
and health services, and safe, supportive environments for children and
families to develop and build positive relationships.