WBEZ | Heartland Alliance http://www.wbez.org/tags/heartland-alliance Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Preservation and Adaptive Reuse of the Viceroy Hotel http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/preservation-and-adaptive-reuse-viceroy-hotel-107421 <p><p>For individuals confronting homelessness, Harvest Commons Apartments, formerly known as the Viceroy Hotel, is an affordable residential project and a historic, green rehabilitation on Chicago&#39;s Near West Side. After falling into disrepair and closing nearly a decade ago, this Chicago Landmark building will reopen this year to include a social enterprise café, an urban farm, and a teaching kitchen out of which Heartland Housing will provide classes to residents about nutrition and food preparation. <strong>Hume An</strong> and <strong>Jeff Bone</strong> discuss the redevelopment team&#39;s commitment to better understand the needs of tenants and to offer relevant programming that will allow residents to rebuild and enrich their lives.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CAF-webstory_7.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Recorded live on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.</div></p> Wed, 29 May 2013 15:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/preservation-and-adaptive-reuse-viceroy-hotel-107421 From Chicago Out to the World: Advancing LGBTQ Human Rights http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/chicago-out-world-advancing-lgbtq-human-rights-107029 <p><p>This program focuses on important Chicago-based work directed toward ensuring the human rights of LGBTQ people internationally. It is moderated by <strong>Sid Mohn</strong>, president of Chicago&rsquo;s Heartland Alliance, and includes presentations on asylum policies, LGBTQ rights abroad, and queer political identities by <strong>Keren Zwick</strong> and <strong>Stefano Fabeni</strong> of Heartland Alliance, and <strong>Lynette Jackson</strong> of the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CHM-webstory_13.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Recorded live Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Chicago History Museum.</p></p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 11:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/chicago-out-world-advancing-lgbtq-human-rights-107029 One in three Illinois residents in or near poverty, according to Heartland Alliance report http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/one-three-illinois-residents-or-near-poverty-according-heartland-alliance-report <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75108253%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-nuLbU" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The Heartland Alliance&rsquo;s Social Impact Research Center<a href="http://www.ilpovertyreport.org/"> released a report today</a> that suggest nearly a third of Illinois residents live in or near poverty.</p><p>Amy Terpstra has worked on the annual report for the Heartland Alliance for years. She sees poverty statistics all the time. But this year, she says, even she was shocked.</p><p>The study, done by the Heartland Alliances Social Impact Research Center, revealed that one in three Illinois residents are in poverty, or very close to falling into poverty.</p><p>Terpstra says that the recession and high unemployment rates play a role. But the study suggests that the rising poverty problem started even before the financial crisis and has to do with the long-term growth of low-wage jobs.</p><p>&ldquo;You can work full-time, year round and still fall below the poverty line,&rdquo; Terpstra said.</p><p>In fact, 100,000 residents in Illinois do just that: live below the poverty line despite full-time labor. The Federal poverty line is 19,090 for a family of three.</p><p>But that doesn&rsquo;t even paint the full picture, according to Terpstra. She says when you consider the actual cost of living in Illinois, some families above the poverty line also have trouble making ends meet. That&rsquo;s why the study also measures near-poverty (up to twice the Federal poverty line.)</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Untitled.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 469px; width: 300px;" title="(graph courtesy of the Heartland Alliance)" /></p><p><strong>Poverty in the Suburbs</strong></p><p>The study explored who is most likely to be in poverty.&nbsp;</p><p>Many of the findings aren&rsquo;t new. Women, minorities, children, and the elderly are all at risk of being poor. But there is also a surprising growth of poverty in the suburbs.</p><p>In fact, there wasn&rsquo;t a single Chicago suburb that didn&rsquo;t have at least a 20 percent rate of poverty.</p><p>Suburban poverty presents its own challenges. Take the example of&nbsp; Kathy Kirwin in Dupage County. Kirwin&rsquo;s 55 and works through a temp agency.&nbsp; Right now, she works a mailroom job. But it&rsquo;s not enough.</p><p>&ldquo;I just became homeless in May of 2012 and started living in my car in August,&rdquo; Kirwin said.</p><div><p>In the suburbs, the distance between social service agencies can be far. Kerwin says she has trouble getting to shelters.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s like, I got two quarters of a tank. Is that going to be enough to do all the things I need to do to get to work everyday,&rdquo; Kirwin said.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Can I go take a shower? Can I go to the food pantries?&rdquo;</p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TotalILPop.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 296px; width: 300px;" title="(graph courtesy of the Heartland Alliance)" /><p>Currently she has a membership to a 24-hour gym. That allows her to shower when she can&rsquo;t get into a shelter, and find warmth when temperatures dip low.</p><p><strong>Looking towards solutions</strong></p><p>In addition to painting a picture of poverty, the study also suggests possible solutions, like raising the minimum wage.</p><p>Despite the perception that low-wage work is usually held by teenagers, the study revealed that 80 percent of people working minimum wage jobs are over age 20.</p><p>Another key suggestion was better access to housing.</p><p>Jacqueline Pierro is a single mother, full-time student, and holds down several part time jobs.</p><p>&ldquo;If it weren&rsquo;t for used clothing and food banks, we wouldn&rsquo;t survive,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;</p><p>Pierro says her income would barely cover rent, but recently she received Section 8 housing after two years on the waiting list.<br /><br />&ldquo;That was like winning the lottery, because it&rsquo;s so hard to get,&rdquo; Pierro said.</p><p>The day she got Section 8 housing was the day Pierro says she signed up for college.</p><p>Another solution the study suggests is allowing poor families to build up savings. Currently, you cannot have assets if you want to receive most public benefits. Pierro says she could support herself better if she could build a small savings for unexpected bills that she and her child often face.</p><p>&ldquo;You basically have to sell off the foundation of your life to get help, and you can&rsquo;t rebuild that foundation because if you do you are automatically kicked off with whatever you do have,&rdquo; Pierro said.&nbsp;</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/one-three-illinois-residents-or-near-poverty-according-heartland-alliance-report Film ‘Beneath The Blindfold’ documents the lives of torture survivors in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-10/film-%E2%80%98beneath-blindfold%E2%80%99-documents-lives-torture-survivors-chicago-95430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-10/torture.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The new documentary <a href="http://www.beneaththeblindfold.org/Home.html" target="_blank"><em>Beneath the Blindfold</em></a> delves into a gritty topic that's rarely discussed: how survivors of torture struggle to rebuild their lives.</p><p>In the film, four diverse individuals - a nursing home aide from Africa, an actor from Colombia, a U.S. navy veteran from Chicago, and a physician from Guatemala - share their battle to heal the physical and psychological wounds of torture, and reclaim their dignity. These individuals represent just four of the 500,000 torture survivors who currently live in the U.S.</p><p><em>Worldview</em> talks to Kathy Berger and Ines Sommer, the directors of the film, about the story they are trying to tell. Dr. Mary Fabri, a psychologist and senior director at the <a href="http://www.heartlandalliance.org/kovler/" target="_blank">Marjorie Kovler Center</a>, also provides analysis on how the effects of torture linger in our community. A part of Heartland Alliance, The Kovler Center is the pioneering torture treatment center that’s operated in Chicago for more than 25 years.</p><p><em>Beneath the Blindfold <a href="http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/beneath-blindfold" target="_blank">debuts</a> this Friday at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The film also runs next week on Thursday, January 19.</em></p></p> Tue, 10 Jan 2012 17:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-10/film-%E2%80%98beneath-blindfold%E2%80%99-documents-lives-torture-survivors-chicago-95430 Jefferson Mok discusses his humanitarian work and new radio show ‘Imagine Burundi’ http://www.wbez.org/node/88784 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-06/burundi.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>As Director of Heartland Alliance’s <a href="http://www.heartlandalliance.org/international/wherewework/project-pages/great-lakes-initative.html" target="_blank">Africa Great Lakes Project</a>, Jefferson Mok worked with vulnerable populations such as former child soldiers, victims of human trafficking and LGBT populations, especially in Burundi. But he’s decided to leave his work at Heartland to full-time produce and host a radio project called <a href="http://imagineburundi.com/" target="_blank">Imagine Burundi</a>. The show gives both locals and expatriates a forum to exchange ideas, bridge divides, share stories and lend new perspectives on their country. We talk to Jeff about his humanitarian work and what the future may hold for his new radio career in Burundi.</p><p>And as <strong>bonus material</strong> we’ve put up a hilarious story from <em>Imagine Burundi</em> co-host, Seth Chase, about how a 20 minute flight back to Burundi turned into an hours-long odyssey aboard Kenya Airways. <strong>Take a listen below!</strong></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483547-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/wv-Imagine Burundi-Coming Home.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Wed, 06 Jul 2011 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/node/88784