HUD Renews 19 States’ HIV/AIDS Supportive Housing Programs

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on June 29 that it will award $30 million dollars to HIV/AIDS housing programs across the nation – to continue support of stable housing for the next three years – to organizations serving more than a thousand extremely low-income individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS who are at risk for homelessness.

The funding is offered through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD’s support of 29 local programs in 19 states.

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A new season of RJ TV

by Mary C. Piemonte 

We are thrilled to announce the new season of “RJ TV,” our live, call-in program over the CAN TV network. “RJ TV” focuses on issues of concern to low-income youths and families, and provides viewers throughout Chicagoland with the chance to share their perspectives.

The new season begins Monday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. over cable channel 21, and will run for 11 weeks at the same time.

A longtime partner of We The People Media’s, CAN TV provides non-profit organizations, elected officials and others with incredible opportunities to broadcast to millions of viewers.
If you have any queries or suggestions for future segment discussion topics please email Ethan Michaeli at or Mary C. Johns at

For a complete schedule and descriptions of CAN TV programs Click here

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An Important Message from the Publisher

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to invite you to the official debut of our newly improved web site at

We have updated the whole site to allow you to comment on our articles, videos and news coverage.

The site now contains information about our staff as well as a full menu of press clips about our work, a sizeable archive of print editions of Residents’ Journal, and a host of other features.

Be sure to sign up for an RSS feed so you can get the latest updates.

If you are charitably minded, please click the “Support” tab and check out our new e-commerce service to make a donation.

Remember that We The People Media/Residents’ Journal is a registered 501 c3 not-for-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

Any size donation is appreciated, but $100 or more will be especially helpful to our work empowering Chicago’s low-income communities with control over their own media outlets.

I look forward to having you as a member of our on-line community. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns.

Ethan Michaeli

Publisher/Executive Director

Residents’ Journal/We The People Media

773 726 5780 x101

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Community Steps Up for Victim’s Family

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Residents of the Fuller Park community came together on May 19 for a prayer vigil at the corner of 43rd Street and Shields Avenue to support the family of a shooting victim and try to make their South Side neighborhood safer.

Lonzie Suggs, 44, died at John H. Stroger Hospital after being shot three times on the afternoon of May 18 in front of a neighborhood store within 100 feet of Hendricks Community Academy.

The shooting was seen by children who had just been released from school, “the same school where Suggs graduated over 20 years ago,” according to Michael Howard, executive director of Fuller Park Community Development Corp., who hosted the vigil.

A community resident reads condolence messages in front of the site where Lonzie Suggs was killed in May 2010. Photo by Mary C. Johns.

“This is an outrage and sad case in a community on the rise and upswing as we boast of providing a safe haven area for our kids,” said Howard, whose wife is a teacher at Hendricks.

After the shooting, Howard urged area residents to work against the apathy and violence that he said plagues the neighborhood and the whole city.

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At CHA Mixed-Income Sites, Owners Exempt from Smoke-Free Zones

by Mary C. Piemonte 

A new federal program will soon transform the homes of public housing tenants in some mixed-income developments into smoke-free zones. But the owners of the for-sale units at the mixed-income sites can smoke all they want, according to the Chicago Housing Authority.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (from left), HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Simms and Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago CEO Joel Africk look on while CHA CEO Lewis Jordan announces new smoke-free zones at CHA sites. Photo by Mary C. Johns

Under the new pilot “Tobacco Prevention Project,” proposed by the City of Chicago and funded by the federal government, public housing residents who want to quit smoking at the CHA’s West Side Roosevelt Square mixed-income community and at three other CHA sites will be able to participate in “cessation classes” and receive counseling to help them kick the habit.

All of this will done with a portion of the $11.5 million two-year grant the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago recently received from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The West End Jackson Square mixed-income site, along with the Pomeroy and Kenmore Senior Apartments, are the sites designated as “smoke-free zones.”

At a press conference to announce the initiative, CHA offic

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Leaving High School for the Real World

by Rebecca Payton , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Several students in South Shore School of Leadership High School say “school sucks.”

“School is boring, because it’s nothing to do,” said senior Brittney Walter.

Students cannot wait to get out of high school. Senior year is when students get their plans together for after high school.

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On-Line Dangers

by Brittany McKenzie , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

South Shore School of Leadership senior Brittney Walter, 19, was sitting at her computer when she got a message from an unknown person.

When Brittney checked her message, it said: “Hey gurl wat up with you?”

Brittney said she was surprised. She checked out the profile. She saw the age. He was 25.

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Thoughts of Suicide

by Reginald Branch , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Imagine coming home from school and turning on the television to see a classmate you said good morning to has committed suicide.

Something like this can happen.

Many students find themselves in this situation everyday. According to SAVE, a suicide prevention organization, for youth between the ages of 15 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death in America.

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