A crumbling south side creates an exodus of black middle class citizens to relocate out of Chicago. It is no secret that violence has chased off many hard working black citizens who are executives, artists, construction workers, salesmen, and businessmen. This assessment comes out after US census data shows that in 2015 an estimated 22,194 people left the state of illinois. Indicators show this majority shift occurred because of financial and political concerns of the state of illinois.
From the standpoint of why blacks are leaving the city is due to various factors of violence, a failing school system, and a staggering job market.
Violence in south side communities has jolted up this year with the number of killings and shootings almost surpassing 2015 stats. According to the Chicago Tribune the last 30 days between May 14 - June 13, 2016 have been a reported 50 violent crimes, 95 property crimes, and 69 quality of life crimes on the city’s south side.
The failing school system also comes into play with Chicago Public Schools threatening to not open doors this fall of 2016 due to budget constraints by the state of Illinois, and with the cost of education soaring for private and charter schools it put parents in a bind of staying in the city.
Wealth on the south side is also a big factor for this exodus of blacks. Although unemployment has decreased to 6%, that decrease has not occurred in the black community as it stands at about 20%. Almost 50% of blacks from the age 20-24 are not in school or do not hold a job according to the Chicago Tribune, and with no economic development occurring in these crime-ridden neighborhoods where can our black youth turn for opportunity other than the streets.
Gathering Point’s job is to stop the bleeding in our south side communities and help empower our youth and adults to get jobs, be accountable for their neighborhoods, and bring resources to these areas. The fight will be tough but with your help and persistence the south side of Chicago will thrive again.