Seeking help for trauma

When residents of some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods need mental health treatment, they often seek help from social service and community organizations in their neighborhoods — help that can be hard to find.

Not just Gary: Vacant houses plague some Chicago neighborhoods, too

After suspected serial killer Darren Vann led police in Gary, Ind., to the bodies of six women that had been hidden in vacant houses, many journalists called attention to the problem of urban blight, which has hit Gary particularly hard. City officials estimate that there are 8,000 vacant houses in Gary, about one out of every five houses in the city sitting empty. Ten Chicago neighborhoods have vacancy rates higher than Gary’s. In Riverdale, home of the dilapidated Altgeld Gardens and Phillip Murray housing projects and many abandoned factories and warehouses, 45 percent of houses are vacant, according to the 2010 Census. Six other neighborhoods in Chicago have vacancy rates at or above 25 percent: Fuller Park, Washington Park, Woodlawn and Englewood on the South Side, and North Lawndale and East Garfield Park on the West Side.

Chicago lags behind in meeting low-income housing needs

With rents rising and incomes shrinking across the country, the Chicago-area has fallen behind other major metropolitan areas in creating new housing for its poorest families during the past decade. But why? It’s a question that jumped out at us while checking out some interesting new research by a Washington D.C.-based think-tank, the Urban Institute. We were using this interactive map to see how Cook County stacks up with other big cities when it comes to matching “extremely low-income” households with rentals they can actually afford. In Cook County, which is anchored by Chicago, the number of households that fit the extreme poverty status (that means a household of four is getting by on $22,750 or less each year, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) hasn’t exactly grown by leaps and bounds since 2000.