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Lathrop Residents Want Vacant Units Occupied

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Residents of the Lathrop Homes public housing community and their advocates marched through their community recently to get the Chicago Housing Authority to open up the large number of vacant units in the development to people in need of affordable housing.

Cathy Johnson, a homeless mother of four, urging the CHA to have compassion on the homeless and open vacant units to those in need during a protest and rally at the Lathrop Homes in October 2008.
Photo by Mary C. Johns

“Keeping these units empty, in the midst of a housing crisis, is a terrible waste,” declared Cynthia Scott, a member of the Lathrop Leadership Team, during the press conference that followed the Oct. 23 march and rally.
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Penalties

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

Some citizens of Chicago have had a hard time finding a way to re-enter society and be able to fee themselves and their families. Sometimes people aren’t able to come back to their homes, especially if they live in CHA apartments or Section 8 homes.

There has always been a one-strike law that was put in place to get rid of people in public housing that have records or have committed a criminal offense. A lot of people don’t agree with the one-strike law, but it’s usually the people that are involved in illegal activities. The problem with the one-strike law is when someone, especially an older person, loses their apartment because someone on their lease does something wrong. For example, in CHA buildings when someone is caught selling drugs on the premises, they will get arrested and the whole family can be evicted under the one-strike policy. It may not be fair, but that’s life.
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Homelessness: A Constant American Tragedy

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When it comes to homelessness, the City of Chicago is going the way of Dr. Frankenstein. In the books and movies, Dr. Frankenstein did not foresee the havoc, chaos and destruction wrought by his monster. By making the monster, Frankenstein thought somehow the world would benefit by his creation. He sought to control his creation. But in the end, his monster was uncontrollable.

In the current scenario playing out in this city, the Chicago Housing Authority and the City of Chicago appear to be playing the part of Dr. Frankenstein. The monster is the CHA’s Plan for Transformation. Read more »

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