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Today is the last day of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 18-24). But we all know both hunger and homelessness will continue to confront us day after day after day. It's not going away just because the week dedicated to awareness has ended.
Just last week I was having a conversation with a young man I have known for several years now. He is struggling with many of the same challenges a lot of young adults are facing right now, like not enough income to support independence, job troubles, car troubles, “baby-mama” troubles, lega…
As open minded as I think I want to be, I just can’t get used to the thought of just anyone being able carry a gun just because they want one. I’m not saying it’s a right or wrong. After all, everybody carried guns back in the cowboy days.
Everybody in south suburban Cook County is aware that on April 18, the area was drenched with rain from the storm that knocked out power in many households, caused huge traffic delays and flooded basements.
Now that some of our most promising leaders have fallen from grace and Newtown, Conn., victims along with Hadiya Pendleton have been laid to rest, where do we go from here? Summer youth employment season is coming up. Maybe that will help ease the pain.
If you are reading this, then you know the world did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, as predicted. So what do we do now? I understand that the prediction actually is “the world as we know it” will end and that we actually may experience a heightened awareness of ourselves and our surroundings.
Train whistle noise in Calumet City wakes me up every morning at around 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 a.m. It is so loud and unbearable that you can’t help but wake up.
In my column back in May I reported on several notable human service programs being implemented in south suburban communities this summer.
Summer is right around the corner, so it seems, and thousands or millions of school-age children will enter into one of most influential and perhaps most dangerous periods of their lives — summer vacation.
Every day, my office phone, cellphone and email are filled with distress messages from people reaching out for resources to ease their desperate situations.
A year ago, I presented the fact that there are very few community emergency response teams in south suburban Cook County. Chicago Heights and Tinley Park are the only two of 50-plus communities.
I don't know anybody who has not heard there is an economic crisis in the United States — and the world. Yet we are constantly confronted by people who insist those suffering somehow brought their condition upon themselves.
It has been said that the problem with youths today is they have no direction. We've all heard that one. And as proof we point to school dropout rates, juvenile delinquency, young adult felony convictions, the shortage of entry-level jobs which forces "the kids" to be still living at home an…
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an innovative program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. It was established to stabilize communities suffering from foreclosures, homelessness and blight.
November is Winter Storm Preparedness Month. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will highlight winter storm preparedness throughout November as part of a 12-month preparedness campaign.
After being denied credit by countless car dealers, Mike, discouraged and frustrated, considers quitting his $10-per-hour job that takes a 2½-hour commute on public transportation to get to. He's already been late three times during his first two weeks on the job and already has received one…
A growing number of young people are falling through the cracks in our community because of expulsion from school. During the 2007-2008 school year, more than 200 students were expelled from south suburban Cook County schools -- for up to two years. An informal survey of 49 south suburban sc…
Census taking (counting the people) is one of the most basic principles of organized human society. As a grant writer, I frequently access Census data to help justify why a particular community could benefit from federal and state funding for programs meant to improve the quality of life and…
With the number of foreclosures skyrocketing over the past few years, homelessness among families and single young adults has also increased dramatically. I'm sure you already know that!
I started off writing a pretty dreary column. You know; one filled with undertones of gloom and doom or about the conditions of our communities; the behavior of our youths, and the questionable activities of our public officials and police; the foreclosure crisis or about the recent news of …
The summer youth employment program sponsored by the Cook County President's Office of Employment and Training (P.O.E.T) is in full swing. Thousands of youths between 14 and 24 years old responded to the offer of a summer employment opportunity that will run through the end of September.
I don't know about you, but the most recent swine flu epidemic has made me more acutely aware of germs everywhere, waiting for an opportunity to attack.
Lately I've taken a great interest in the plight of veterans in this country, especially since finding out there are more than 200,000 homeless veterans on any given night in our great United States of America.
In my November column I posed the question: Will we get a trick or treat on Election Day? Well here's the trick! In his exiting news conference recently, our outgoing president defended his administration by telling us he was just trying to protect us from reality. We are looking at somethin…
As a Halloween baby, I have always enjoyed the feeling that everybody celebrates my birthday on Oct. 31. When I was a youngster, I enjoyed telling the bullies in my neighborhood that they better watch out because when Halloween comes around the "goblins will get" the bullies, the ghouls will…
After losing her home to foreclosure, Sarah J. and her three school-age children moved back to her parents. This was her second move in six months. Her children had not attended school for the past two months.
Here are some job search tips for everybody 14 and older.
Remember The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning? Here's a modern version.
There are many miserable people in this world. Unable and/or unwilling to rise from despair, they find it amazingly easy to trigger misery in other people.
They say teenage drinking has been with us since the beginning of time.
Recently a young man from my community allegedly beat another young man to death with a baseball bat. Gangster style. Both of these young men lived in my neighborhood.
One of the greatest challenges facing our society today is instilling a sense of purpose in our young people.
Like most homeowners, I am concerned about protecting the value of my home, good neighborhood schools and safety. I've been wondering why my neighbors just won't get involved in our community. So I did some research to make some sense of it all -- at least for myself.
Parents hug your kids.
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Should the new Porter County Council districts take effect in 2014 or after next year's elections?