In a study conducted by Williams Institute, shocking statistics appeared. About forty percent of the Chicago LGBT youth community were homeless. For many of these young teens, running away from home deemed to be the only option. Many would also be sexually, emotionally, and physically abused for coming out to their friends and family. It becomes systemic oppression at its finest and the tipping point for these youth. The streets become safer than their own homes.
I think there is some consensus that we can all share. The world is not fair. We could spend hours arguing the reasons for this unfair playing field or why it seems some people get a leg up in life. These are good questions to be thinking about. But they do not always lead us to answers, a solution, or even a small action of change.
Walking into Curt’s Café is like walking into many other coffee shops. I ordered my coffee, got a scone, and pretended to work. It was a very typical experience, though there was something much greater happening around me.
Streetwise is a street paper that aims to tackle homelessness. The organization offers, employment, housing, and financial literacy for the vendors. Individuals who are unemployed or underemployed can be vendors, receive stable housing, and education to manage their income. And of course, the magazine is engaging!
(Image from Fransico check his work here)
Food deserts are geographic areas where residents have no access to healthy food options. Many of the people in Chicago affected by this are African-Americans. To make things worse many people in these neighborhoods only have access to fast food restaurants, which can have a great negative affect on their health.
Tourette Syndrome is a disorder that involves involuntary repetitive movements, also known as “tics.” “The massive misconception of this disorder is that “all people with Tourette’s swear, which is not true. They’re just ordinary people,” said Scott Loeff, President of Tourette Syndrome Camp. This was a driving force for Scott to create this camp, to diminish negative stereotypes and show that people with TS are just like any other human being.
Inspiration kitchen serves both the food and the people. This organization trains homeless and poverty stricken Chicagoans to work within restaurant as chefs and/or cooks.