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DuPage PADS Announces Successposted November 30th, 2015
DuPage PADS says a focused and coordinated effort with other services providers has allowed it to celebrate a significant goal. The Wheaton based non-profit says it’s ended chronic homelessness among its veteran clients. President and CEO Carol Simler says the agency has the audacious goal of ending all chronic homelessness. She tells WDCB News the lessons DuPage PADS learned from addressing veteran homelessness can be applied to the larger problem. Simler says the key is for agencies and service providers work together and keep the individual or family in the center of the table. She says focused attention on how they can help return clients to a place to call home their collective efforts can work. Still she says the job is far from finished. Simler says having a supply of 80 apartments around the county has been a key to eliminating chronic homelessness among veterans. She says having a home restores hope for PADS clients, and it helps to save millions of dollars in taxpayer money that would be spent on homeless families.
Columbia College Helps Student-Artists Sell Now, Prepare For Futureposted November 30th, 2015
Over the past seven years, student-artists at Columbia College have earned over $300,000 through an innovative program that helps them sell their work. The Chicago-based college operates a brick-and-mortar storefront and website, known as “Shop Columbia”, for students to showcase their creations. The program’s coordinator Tracey Drobot Brouwer tells WDCB News the initiative was created to help students learn about the business side of the art world. Brouwer says some of the students have had so much success selling their creations through Shop Columbia, they’ve begun selling their work on their own.
CPD Officer Charged In 2014 Shooting Deathposted November 25th, 2015
The Cook County State’s Attorney announced first degree murder charges against Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke. Prosecutors say in October of last year Van Dyke shot the 17-year old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Chicago Kent Law School Dean Harold Krent is encouraged proseuctors charged Van Dyke before a video of the shooting became public. He tells WDCB News it’s hard to say there’s a systemic problem at CPD, but the trend is troubling. Krent says there have been a rash of incidents across the country of excessive brutality by police, too often white officers against suspects of color. He says the McDonald case seems another case of unprovoked extreme violence against someone who didn't appear to be posing a serious threat to police. Krent thinks police and prosecutors hope the charges against Van Dyke will head-off a violent reaction from Chicago’s black community. The Chicago Police Department opposed the release of the dash-cam video because of the expectation that Van Dyke would face criminal charges.
New Book Explores Issues Facing Chicago in 21st Centuryposted November 25th, 2015
A new book is shining a light on several of the problems facing the city of Chicago as it attempts to strive in a global economy. Not surprisingly, political corruption is highlighted in the 2nd edition of “Twenty First Century Chicago”, which was just released. College of DuPage political science professor Melissa Mouritsen co-edited the book. She tells WDCB News political corruption isn’t just a Chicago problem … it extends throughout the entire metro area. Mouritsen says there isn’t a single explanation for the increased corruption statistics. But she believes the numbers are a by-product of “machine” politics which exist in Chicago and many communities in the metro area.
Holiday Hiring Hits High Water Markposted November 24th, 2015
Stronger consumer confidence, and low unemployment are good indications for this year’s holiday shopping season. Chicago based employment expert John Challenger says October saw the strongest holiday hiring since 2005. Retailers added nearly 215,000 seasonal jobs. Challenger tells WDCB News the retail sector probably isn’t finished hiring. He says last year the nation saw 755,00 retail jobs created from October to the end of December, so he expect much more hiring is still to come; but Challenger says it does seem like seasonal hiring is becoming more frequently front loaded. He says the reality is most of the jobs are purely seasonal positions, and by February the retail labor force is back to where it was in September. Still he says there is a chance of some of the holiday shopping season workers to become permanent employees.
Northern Illinois Food Bank Provides Thousands of Holidays Meals For Those In Needposted November 24th, 2015
A recent Northern Illinois Food Bank study found that 77% of the households it serves had to choose between paying for utilities or food over the past 12 months. The Food Bank’s Erik Jacobsen says the organization relies on the community’s support to meet the consistently high demand. Jacobsen says the number of volunteers and donations usually spikes around this time of year. But he tells WDCB News it’s also important to remember the need for food assistance continues the rest of the year. The Geneva-based non-profit recently launched its Holiday Meal Box program which provides a traditional holiday meal for area families in-need. This year the Northern Illinois Food Bank will be distributing 36,000 holiday meal boxes.