U.S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama


Senator Barack Obama represents Illinois’13th State Senate District, which includes areas of Chicago’s South Side. He was elected to a third term in 2002. Obama is the chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee. He credits himself with expansion of the KidCare and FamilyCare programs to provide insurance for 20,000 more children and 65,000 more families in Illinois.

2004 U.S. Senate Candidate Illinois State Senator Barack Obama

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War with Iraq: A Personal Perspective


There are many children and other family members of public housing tenants nationwide currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some are fighting in the War with Iraq, and others are on active duty maintaining the peace in other countries at home and around the world, while some are being prepared for land, air and sea warfare at various basic training camps nationally.

My two sons, nephew and brother are part of this military effort. I am a 42-year-old single parent of six children – three boys and three girls, ages 24 to 11, who were reared from 1989 to 2002 in the infamous Chicago public housing “projects.” My soon-to-be 21-year-old son Antonio Johns is an Army Specialist by rank and a welder by trade. He is part of the maintenance crew from Fort Riley, KS. He was scheduled to go to Kuwait but since the war ended, that plan is now on hold. Read more »

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SPECIAL FEATURE: City Gets CHA Funds Update


With the clock ticking for many Chicago Housing Authority residents receiving government assistance, CHA officials failed to implement a much-needed welfare to work program for over one year, a continuing Residents’ Journal investigation has found.

In 1999, CHA won a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to service residents receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), a federal assistance program.

But in recent interviews, CHA officials admitted the program had been held up for one year after city officials took over the agency in spring 1999.
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8,000 To Get Jobs Help


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.


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.


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 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.


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 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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