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Senior Services 2005 and Beyond

by Michael Ibrahem 

Seniors may be living longer these days, but they still need services. Recently, two seniors asked me for assistance to expedite resolution of problems they confronted.

In the first case, she was confused about her appointments and couldn’t read the forms the clinic gave her. I made about a dozen phone calls to my friend’s health-care provider and two clinic visits. Later, the doctors surmised her medicine was too strong, causing the confusion.

The second neighbor I helped was Carolyn Smith, a senior Section 8 Voucher holder who has heart trouble, crippling arthritis and cannot hear well. She has had multiple problems settling down to adequate living arrangements. Presumably, the CHAC service providers were there to help her.

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African-American Male Suicides

by Michael Ibrahem 

There is a crisis in America and while African American leaders search for answers, some community groups are finding solutions of their own.

A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and co-authored by University of Pennsylvania Professor Sean Joe found that suicides remain very high among the nation’s youth, specifically in African American communities, where there is a significant amount of violence associated with suicides.

“Seventy percent of African American youth who commit suicide do so with guns,” said Joe. The study co-authored by Joe “suggests that there is in fact a youth development crisis in the African American community.” Read more »

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SPECIAL FEATURE: City Gets CHA Funds

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Top Chicago Housing Authority officials have said they want to get out of the business of providing residents with programs. However, a Residents’ Journal investigation has found that CHA is transferring millions of dollars from its budget to other city departments to administer its former social service programs.

Only a few of those city departments can demonstrate that they are serving residents with those federal funds. And other city departments have yet to begin their efforts to serve residents.
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8,000 To Get Jobs Help

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Eight thousand adults involved in the new federal welfare program will participate in a new state program that will help people find and keep jobs.

THE ILLINOIS JOB ADVANTAGE

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1997, a press conference was held at the Illinois Department of Human Services, 2100 S. Michigan Ave., at which Gov. Jim Edgar announced a $32 million job preparation and training program.

TARGET: INNER CITY CHICAGO

The state will target 12 inner city areas that are in the greatest need of job education, training and placement services. The governor said that it made good sense to see that people have the proper skills in order to perform well on the job. He added that people couldn’t be moved from welfare to work without these kinds of investments.

THE OBJECTIVE

The Illinois Job Advantage’s objective is to help what state officials call “difficult to help” welfare recipients get ready to work, get a job and stay on the job. $8.4 million of the $32 million will reach 8,000 adult Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) clients.

According to TANF federal guidelines, it is required that states have at least 30 percent of TANF clients working or involved in work-related activities by October 1997.

THE 12 TARGETED COMMUNITIES

There are only 12 communities that will be the focus of this initiative: Ashland, Auburn Park, Cabrini-Green, Englewood, Kenwood, Michigan, Oakland, Park Manor, Pershing, Roseland, Western and Woodlawn.

THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE $8.4 MILLION

The Department of Human Services will select and administer the $8.4 million in grants to community agencies to provide job preparation and training.

Also, the selected agencies will be responsible for many things including support services, mentoring and addiction services as well as connection to child care. The agencies will be paid on the basis of their success in placing clients into jobs.

“We want to continue to help people,” said Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Howard A. Peters III. “We think this $8.4 million will be money well spent.”

The community agencies will be selected and funded by the end of October and the remaining $24 million will be distributed statewide and to other Chicago neighborhoods by DHS.

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