Poverty On the Southeast Side

October 5, 2009

In beginning our research on poverty we did not realize so many factors are involved. The majority of the Southeast side of Chicago lives barely above the poverty line. In the article, “The Economic Costs of Childhood Poverty in the United States,” the authors address several environmental factors that effect the way in which children grow up. These factors include crime rates, healthcare availibility, housing and diversity.

In many of Chicagos southeast neighborhoods you can find government funded housing. In Grand Crossing Gary Coleman recently donated an apartment complex that now houses 90 low income single mothers and their children. In Woodlawn 16% of the population lives on government aid. There is also a 5 complex series entitled W.E C.A.N housing resource center with 340 units. This housing focuses on housing the over 4,000 people that live on government aid. These housing projects contribute greatly to the environment a child is raised in, potentially effecting their ability to succeed.

Though housing greatly effects a childs’ ability to succeed the availability of healthcare also plays in to their “health capital” or a childs potential to succeed according to genes and environmental factors. On the southeast side of Chicago there are two hospitals Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, and Michael Reese Hospital in and near the area. Therefore easily accessible and positively impacting the neighborhoods.

Of the five neighborhoods we researched we found the crime rates very high. The communities of Woodlawn, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Bronzeville and Grand Crossing account for 33% of Chicago’s crime in 2008. With Grand Crossing being the highest followed by Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Kenwood and Bronzeville.

The effect of not only the crime rates but the housing and healthcare availability on students is great. If everyday you or your child had to worry about who or what they would encounter on their way to school, it would no doubt effect their concentration on school work among other things. The diversity of tutor mentor programs in the southeast side is correlated with the crime rate in  these areas, Grand Crossing has the highest crime rate of all five neighborhoods as well as near to no tutor mentor programs. Kenwood and Hyde Park with the second and third highest crime rates has over 100 tutor mentor programs, the reasoning being the diversity of incomes in the area as both have a very wealthy area and also an impoverished area. Woodlawn and Bronzeville, with the lowest crime rates, have about ten tutor mentor programs as a result of lack of resources. Overall these environmental factors play a large role in the potential of success of a child.

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September 28, 2009

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