Along with 100 residents from all over the city, we brought 15 teens from Butler College Prep to Uptown for an exercise in charity and education on homelessness in Chicago. From a high school in the Historic Pullman Neighborhood to Uptown - that's no small trip - 20 mi and nearly an hour driving all within the borders of Chicago! We aimed to open their eyes to the struggles of the marginalized and to ingrain in them the joy of helping others. We had our teens speaking with the homeless, handing out hoodies, and giving out meals at the Wilson Avenue Viaduct.
I learned that homeless is much more common then we think. Be it a child that was kicked out of her home for her sexual orientation, layoffs at work, healthcare debt, lawyer fees, disability, or mental illness. We often don't know what life will bring our way and when that storm comes we want our neighbors to uplift each other.
SUPPORTING LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS
We'd like to thank Everybody's Coffee for donating the coffee we enjoyed during our rally out in the rain, it was a life saver!
And we'd like to thank Mama Osas African Restaurant for providing our lunch! The meal we purchased meant so much to their families.
We all should do our best to be ethical consumers - don't spend your money just anywhere. Money spent in small businesses has many more benefits to your community, because that is where their profits stay. There is no millionaire or billionaire CEO to support, their are no off-shore accounts, or lobbyist influencing legislation. Money spent in small businesses will be used to employ your neighbors, shop at other local stores, and find it's way into your local churches and charities.
HIGHLIGHTING A LOCAL COMMUNITY ORG
We'd like to thank Alternatives Youth Center for donating there space for our lunch. They provide free Art, Music, and Circus classes for Chicago's youth. Many participants even get paid for their time learning and performing at the center!
If you'd like your son or daughter to be involved in their program give them a call at(773) 506-7474, it's no cost to you!
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPEAKERS
+ Ryan Poelker representing:
Uptown Tent City - organizers working with the homeless communities under the viaducts of Foster, Lawrence, Wilson & Montrose. Raised $8k to purchase tents for the homeless.
Northside Action for Justice - grassroots social justice organization focused on the northside of Chicago.
+ Gloria Davis & Jayme Robinson representing:
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless - organize the homeless community citywide to influence legislation at City Hall and in Springfield.
+ Alan Mills representing:
Uptown People's Law Center - a civil rights law firm focused on prisoners' rights, tenants' rights, and social security/disability.