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Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region

August 19, 2014

This report examines geographic patterns of access to bank capital for businesses in the Chicago six-county region, with a focus on smaller loans and other types of credit, amounts under $1 million, that are more likely to benefit smaller, local businesses that create economic opportunity within neighborhoods. For small neighborhood businesses to grow, they need to be able to access capital, and one common source of capital for small businesses are loans, lines of credit, and business credit cards (collectively, "small loans") issued by banks and other financial institutions.

Unresolved Foreclosures: Patterns of Zombie Properties in Cook County

January 24, 2014

This report examines the extent to which servicers are walking away from foreclosures in Cook County, Illinois, creating zombie properties, and how that practice may vary by the characteristics of the neighborhood in which the property is located.

Status of Girls in Illinois - Full Report

September 15, 2010

This is a report that was released by the Women and Girls Collective Action Network. It was developed as a response to the need for accurate and timely data about the lives of girls and young women in Illinois. This report covers issues like health, education, sports, crime and incarceration and sexuality.

Status of Girls in Illinois Report - Executive Summary

September 15, 2009

This was a report that was released by the Women & Girls Collective Action Network in Chicago. The report was developed in response to the need for accurate and timely information about the lives of girls and young women in Illinois. The sections covered include sexuality, education, health, crime and incarceration, to name a few.

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.

Accessing TANF Assistance: A Survey of Low-Income Young Mothers in Chicago

April 1, 2002

In 2000-2001, the Center for Impact Research (CIR), in collaboration with other concerned organizations, set out to obtain more information from young mothers about their experiences with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) receipt in order to determine if changes in the TANF application process for teens are needed, and whether the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is effectively engaging teens in the TANF system. Working with community-based organizations, CIR trained young mothers to locate and survey other young mothers in low-income communities. A total of 601 young mothers, ages 13-21, were interviewed. Summary of Findings: CIR found that many young mothers were told they were ineligible for TANF and left TANF offices without having filled out applications; that those who had applied and were not receiving TANF were in need of education and employment; and that the older respondents -- who no longer qualified for the in-depth case management -- were experiencing more hardship than younger respondents.

Knocking on the Door: Barriers to Welfare and Other Assistance for Teen Parents

April 1, 2002

The 1996 welfare reform legislation, which established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, sought, among other purposes, to move recipients off of welfare and into work and to prevent long-term welfare receipt. Policymakers recognized that concentrating on teen parents was an important part of tackling the problem of long-term receipt of welfare: although teen parents represent only about five percent of the overall TANF caseload, historically about 50 percent of adult welfare recipients began parenting as teens. The legislation adopted a new approach for minor teen parents, creating two major requirements -- commonly known as the "living arrangement rule" and the "stay-in-school rule." The first required unmarried, custodial teen parents under age 18 to live at home or in an adult-supervised setting, and the second required that they participate in school or approved training until obtaining a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) equivalency diploma. In the years since 1996, some states have reported greater declines in the number of teen parents receiving TANF relative to the general caseload declines. Limited qualitative information indicated that some teens were being turned away at local TANF offices, without having the opportunity to complete applications -- that is, they were knocking on the door but not getting in. Because TANF can have an important role in helping low-income teen parents stay on track towards economic independence, this information alarmed teen parent advocates and led the Center for Impact Research (CIR) to conduct a collaborative survey project in Chicago to determine what was happening to teen mothers who were in need of assistance. The Chicago survey was replicated in Boston and Atlanta, and this report highlights the collective findings across the three sites. In conducting the survey, CIR intended that about half of the respondents in all three sites were current recipients of TANF assistance and half were not.

Helping with Domestic Violence: Legal Barriers to Serving Teens in Illinois

November 1, 2000

In the spring of 1999 the Center for Impact Research (CIR) and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health conducted a study looking at the prevalence of domestic violence among teen mothers receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Chicago.1 In a sample of 474 teen mothers on the south and west sides of Chicago, CIR found that 55% of the young women had experienced some level of domestic violence at the hands of their boyfriends in the previous 12 months. The study also found a strong association between domestic violence and birth control sabotage, where teen girls' attempts to use birth control were undermined or thwarted by their partners. In qualitative interviews it became apparent that many of these low-income teen mothers were experiencing severe difficulties with escaping domestic violence due to a lack of temporary or permanent housing opportunities. CIR subsequently began to conduct research with the goal of identifying the legal and regulatory barriers to serving teen victims of domestic violence.

Road Map to Successful Chicago Schools

January 1, 1998

Based on stories from 10 Chicago schools, this report shows how some urban public schools have improved teaching and learning, upgraded the school environment and connect the school with the community.