Creating Social Safety Nets In Suburbs

Social Service Centers work to fill the lack of social safety nets in suburban areas of Chicago.
September 28, 2003, 1pm PDT | Connie Chung
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"Simon Bolivar Center for Human Rights offers immigrants in Elgin, as well as in Streamwood, Carpentersville and Geneva, who are far from the social safety nets of Chicago, a rare beacon of hope....Similar centers to Simon Bolivar...are cropping up as more and more immigrants, mostly from Mexico, bypass Chicago and move directly into the suburbs. The number of Latinos living in the state outside of Cook County climbed 118 percent to 458,522 in 2000 from 210,252 in 1990, according to U.S. Census figures....Noting the moderate success of places like Simon Bolivar, advocates in Chicago are training others to open more suburban centers. Earlier this year, the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities...trained 43 people from cities such as Melrose Park, Rolling Meadows, Aurora, Elgin and Mt. Prospect. Once a week for six weeks, the volunteers learned public policy, zoning ordinances, how to work with elected officials and how to detect rental properties that are discriminating against minorities...."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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