Roseland was once known as the “jewel of the South Side,” but residents now face the challenges of divestment and violence, which has led businesses in the area to close.
Despite the neighborhood’s challenges, there has been continued pressure to provide residents with resources and new opportunities.
Interactive map: More information on our community reporting series
“Z” Scott’s Chicago State Universityhas been president for four years and says her focus has remained on helping students from underrepresented communities attend college, even more so now amid the pandemic.
“In addition to getting our students through the pandemic, we’re providing better access to college,” Scott said. “For example, our freshmen can come to Chicago State for free in what we call our climb academy, it is a complete set of services that include technology, consulting. Very intensive guidance focusing on the first year experience and getting them into second year.
The university says it has launched programs and scholarships aimed at helping African Americans and Latinos in their education and preparation for the workforce.
Scott says the past two years have been difficult and despite a drop in enrollment, she says they are rolling out resources to help students get their education.
“We’ve seen a drop in undergraduate enrollment, but we’ve seen a slight increase in our graduate enrollment and that’s across the country,” Scott said. “We saw students who thought of this as an opportunity to scale up and really take another direction in their careers.”
The pandemic has also wreaked havoc in the surrounding area Roseland Community Hospital. A few years ago, the hospital was struggling to stay afloat due to lack of state funding. The pandemic has exacerbated this need.
“And now with [COVID] cases are going down, we need funding to cover the expenses that COVID has left behind,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Khurram Khan. “We have a huge debt and the need is dire.”
Video: Watch our full interview with Khurram Khan
More than 70% of their hospitalized patients are on Medicaid, according to Roseland Community health officials. Their efforts are also aimed at strengthening the Roseland Medical District so that patients do not have to travel far from their community to receive health care, as it is one of the few hospitals on the South Side.
When it comes to seeking change in the community, Andrea Reed, Executive Director of the Greater Roseland Chamber of Commercewas on the front line.
Reed worked on extending the CTA’s hotline, helping to deliver low fares and ending the violence that has wreaked havoc on businesses in recent years.
“We come from decades of divestment,” Reed said. “We can’t throw money at this situation; it’s more than just fixing a building. We face challenges that go beyond money. There are lives involved here and there are people who have suffered unresolved trauma. Hurt people, hurt others.
Leaders at Chicago Credit know all too well the barriers people face in the neighborhood. The organization works to end gun violence through face-to-face outreach while using their own experiences to help neighborhood residents choose a different path.
Outreach Supervisor Terrance Henderson says there are a variety of barriers facing the community, including drug abuse, increased military weapons in the area, and emotional trauma.
“One of the biggest things that I think really affects the community is the lack of expression,” Henderson said. “A lot of these people remember everything they’ve done in their lifetime.”
Alderman Anthony Beale of the 9th arrondissement says he creates opportunities by renovating and bringing new projects to life for residents and young people.
One such project is a so-called “cop house” – a community-oriented police house – to combat violence. The opening is scheduled for the summer.
“It will be a community house where people can go and learn. It will be a haven of peace for the community. We work with Cred. We’re going to ask the city to bring in all of their resources, it’s going to be a one-stop shop,” Beale said. “We place it in one of the most troubling sectors of the community because we get right to the heart of the problem. Once you do that, I think you’re going to see it spread.
Meanwhile, Diane Latiker, founder of Children off the block, has focused its efforts on helping the youth of Roseland for 19 years. She provides a safe space from her home in Roseland, while providing tutoring, mentoring, leadership training and more to help reduce violence in her community.
Latiker recently wrote “Kids Off the Block” hoping to inspire others.
“I wanted to inspire people to know that I’m nothing special,” Latiker said. “Whatever issues they care about, they can do the same. You just need to have the will. »
Video: Watch our full interview with Diane Laticer.
Further down Michigan Ave., a donut gem has remained open for decades.
Brutt Bulloch, 82, runs Old fashioned donuts for nearly 50 years. He works six days a week and says his shop has become a place to decompress and treat yourself to a moment of sweetness.
“I like to make people smile and they come back,” Bulloch said. “They come every morning on the way to work and on the way home they stop for more donuts.”
Community Report Series
“Chicago Tonight” is expanding its community reporting. We’re taking to the streets to talk with your neighbors, local businesses, agencies and leaders about COVID-19, the economy, racial justice, education and more. See where we went and what we learned using the map below. Or select a community using the drop-down menu. Dots in Red represent our COVID-19 Across Chicago series; blue marks our “Chicago Tonight” series in Your Neighborhood.