Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Claretian Associates, and Villa Guadalupe serve the South Chicago neighborhood on the southeast side of the city. The neighborhood’s residents are about 75% African American and 20% Hispanic and earn an average annual income of only about $40,500 per household, compared to an average income of $56,000 statewide.
Poverty is a huge issue in South Chicago. The neighborhood’s troublingly high unemployment rate—about 24%—is more than double the state and national averages. With such widespread unemployment, it comes as no surprise that the poverty level in the community is high, with 35.5% of households below the poverty level. An astonishing 47% of the community’s children are living in poverty. That means that almost half of the neighborhood’s young people are more likely to suffer from food insecurity, live in poor-quality housing, and experience “economic despair.”
The community’s poverty is also reflected in the neighborhood public schools, where 98% of the students are from low-income families. Standardized test scores lag behind the state average, and the local high school has a graduation rate of only 58%. Overall, 76.5% of neighborhood residents 25 and older have completed high school or beyond, and just 15.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Certainly this community faces a lot of challenges, but tCI programs are hard at work helping individuals and families in South Chicago. Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Claretian Associates, and Villa Guadalupe are in need of support for the critical work they do in this community. You can direct a donation to any of these programs using our secure online donation form.
Even if you can’t donate, you can make a difference by spreading the word about our programs on Facebook and Twitter and by encouraging your friends to sign up for our monthly email. Join us in creating positive change in South Chicago and in all tCI communities!