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The Gender Disadvantage: Why Inequity Persists

March 13, 2019

Poverty does not treat everyone equally. Women, children, gender minorities, and people of color are often the hardest hit. And while women in poverty experience the same issues that all people in poverty experience—income inequality, unemployment, poor health, violence, trauma, and more—the odds are often uniquely stacked against them in gendered ways.There are 6.5 million women. and an estimated 50,000 trans people living in Illinois. They are a driving force in our economy and care for our children, sick, and elderly, and yet continue to face discrimination and inequitable opportunities. This year's annual report on poverty in Illinois shows how gender, gender identity, and gender norms shape experiences of poverty for women and gender minorities—and how women who have other marginalized identities experience even more inequity. If we want to dramatically reduce poverty, improving the well-being of women— particularly women of color—would deliver the biggest return.

L’Arche Chicago Theory of Change Narrative

November 15, 2018

L'Arche Chicago ( is a non-profit organization in Oak Park, IL that provides high quality health, housing, and social services to people with with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), whom L'Arche terms "core members." L'Arche Chicago's unique model of care differs from other community-integrated living arrangements (CILA) in that staff, assistants, and core members live together in homes and develop mutually-transforming relationships through shared life experiences. L'Arche Chicago opened its doors in 2000 with one home, two core members, and two assistants. Today, L'Arche Chicago has three homes, two of which opened in the past four years, and a total of nine core members and fourteen assistants.As L'Arche Chicago has grown, and anticipates further growth, the organization recognized a need to be able to define, visualize, and express their larger organizational theory of change and identify and track outcomes to measure L'Arche's impact on members, assistants, and the wider community. To do this, the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation collaborated with the Social IMPACT Research Center (IMPACT) to provide technical assistance to L'Arche Chicago with the goal of developing a theory of change

Illinois and Chicago Region: Poverty, Income and Health Insurance (Fact Sheet)

September 13, 2018

Millions of people in Illinois experience poverty or are living on the brink. That societal position keeps opportunities out of reach and nearly guarantees worse outcomes in every quality of life domain—making ALL of us worse off.This fact sheet on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage in Illinois and the Chicago region, was created using the Census Bureau's release of local American Community Survey data.The poverty rate for the United States was 12.3% in 2017. There were 39.7 million people in poverty nationwide. The poverty rate is not significantly different from the pre-recession level of 12.5% in 2007. In 2017, 1.6 million Illinoisans were in poverty ─ a rate of 12.6%. Additionally, 2.0 million Illinoisans are near poor and economically insecure with incomes between 100% and 199% of the federal poverty threshold.

The 2018 Illinois Poverty Update

April 19, 2018

Heartland Alliance's Illinois Poverty Update indicates that millions of people in Illinois are experiencing poverty or are on the cusp. Rooted in inequity, poverty prevents people from meeting basic needs, improving their quality of life, and creates barriers to opportunities including quality education, stable employment, affordable housing and safe neighborhoods. The update sheds light on who is most likely to experience poverty in Illinois: Women, people of color, and children have the highest poverty rates.In addition to the Illinois Poverty Update, Heartland Alliance also released state legislative district poverty fact sheets.These releases are the first of a series Heartland Alliance is publishing on poverty in Illinois this year. Local- and county-level data books will be published this summer, and an in-depth exploration of the forces that contribute to gender-based poverty inequity will be released in the fall. 

Acceso equitativo a Secure Choice: abordando los obstáculos para ahorrar para la jubilación para los trabajadores de Illinois

January 22, 2018

Illinois es uno de los primeros estados en la nación que aprueba la legislación de ahorro para la jubilación utilizando Secure Choice. Con la implementación de Secure Choice, los trabajadores en Illinois en empresas calificadas sin acceso a un plan de jubilación basado en el empleo serán automáticamente inscritos en un programa de ahorro para la jubilación. Se estima que 1,3 millones de personas de Illinois que actualmente no tienen acceso a planes de jubilación en el lugar de trabajo se verán potencialmente impactados por Secure Choice. Sin embargo, a medida que Illinois avanza hacia la implementación de Secure Choice, hay una serie de preguntas clave que deben responderse para ayudar a garantizar que el programa aborde las barreras que impiden la participación, especialmente entre trabajadores de bajos ingresos, mujeres, inmigrantes y trabajadores de color. Esta investigación tiene como objetivo entender mejor estos obstáculos.

Permanent Supportive Housing & Medicaid Providers: A Description of the Health Neighborhood Demonstration Project

December 19, 2017

Permanent supportive housing providers interested in diversifying their funding sources may want to consider Medicaid as a way of supporting its services. The complexity involved with administering Medicaid can be a barrier for many PSH providers, however. In response to this issue, Heartland Health Outreach's Health Neighborhood Demonstration Project is implementing innovative ways to help permanent supportive housing providers benefit from Medicaid funding and improve health outcomes for HHO participants without having to take on the burdens of becoming Medicaid billers. The brief outlines the Health Neighborhood model and implementation, lessons learned, and key considerations for other organizations considering similar partnerships.

Cycle of Risk: The Intersection of Poverty, Violence, and Trauma

March 15, 2017

Chicago is currently facing a devastating surge in lethal violence in addition to staggering rates of poverty across Illinois. Policymakers and community leaders are struggling with finding short- and long-term solutions to stem the violence and allow neighborhoods to heal. In the meantime, communities are fearing for their own safety and grieving over lost parents, children, friends, and leaders every day. The stakes forgetting the solutions right could not be higher. Poverty and violence often intersect, feed one another, and share root causes. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence are also characterized by high levels of poverty, lack of adequate public services and educational opportunity, poorer health outcomes, asset and income inequality, and more. The underlying socioeconomic conditions in these neighborhoods perpetuate both violence and poverty. Furthermore, trauma can result from both violence and poverty. Unaddressed trauma worsens quality of life, makes it hard to rise out of poverty by posing barriers to success at school and work, and raises the likelihood of aggressive behavior. In this way, untreated trauma—coupled with easy gun availability and other factors—feeds the cycle of poverty and violence.

Cook County Indicators, 2015

March 1, 2016

The employment estimates in this databook come from the ACS and thereforereflect the 5-year timeframe of 2011-2015; they are not directly comparable withthe more timely Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, which are released with amuch shorter lag time. Since the BLS does not release local community areaemployment estimates, the ACS is the only source for this information. For some geographies data was not collected for the U.S. Census Bureau's 2000 Decennial Census. Some data was suppressed because these estimates are less reliable, these areindicated by 'x.'

Poverty Matters: It's Now 50/50, Chicago Region Poverty Growth is a Suburban Story

September 5, 2013

Nationwide, the number of people in poverty in the suburbs has now surpassed the number of people in poverty in central cities. Cities have long been thought to be home to the most and worst poverty. However, in the past several decades, the suburbs have experienced the greatest growth in poverty. In this brief, the Social IMPACT Research Center examines the distribution of poverty in Chicago and the suburbs over two decades. The findings suggest that from 1990 to 2011, poverty grew much more in the suburbs than in Chicago, and consequently, poverty became more equally distributed between Chicago and the suburbs.

Chicago Neighborhood Indicators, 2011

June 7, 2013

Social IMPACT Research Center's analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007-2011 5-year American Community Survey.

The Chicago Community Trust: Investing in Public-Private Partnerships

January 15, 2010

In 2006, The Chicago Community Trust conducted an environmental scan to identify trends to inform its grantmaking in metropolitan Chicago. The Trust has long been responsive to the sizable immigrant population (18 percent) within the city limits, but the scan documenting booming immigrant populations in a number of suburban communities caught its attention.This GCIR case study highlights The Chicago Community Trust's three-year, $1.5 million immigrant integration initiative that was launched in response to the new demographic findings. A central strategy of the initiative was supporting local government leadership and public-private partnerships, including direct grants to three villages: Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, and Skokie (a fourth, Addison, would later be added).

Facing Homelessness: A Study of Homelessness in Chicago and the Suburbs

December 16, 2002

The Regional Roundtable on Homelessness (Regional Roundtable) is a forum that works toimprove strategies for understanding and addressing homelessness throughout northeastern Illinois. Within this forum, local governmental administrators and funders share the challenges of assessing and planning for the needs of people who are homeless within their communities, and of understanding and addressing homelessness. Specifically, the Regional Roundtable discusses best practices, funding opportunities, strategies, and undertakes projects to improve the Continuum of Care process within each jurisdiction and across the region.