After fire, South Side youth shelter Ujima Village fears for future of homeless teens

Following a period of progress, closures and a fire create resource desert

Natalie Gonzalez

Nearly a month ago, the South Side’s only emergency shelter for homeless youth was badly damaged in a sudden and unexplained fire. The shelter, Ujima Village, was located on 73rd Street just off the Dan Ryan expressway, and provided beds for some twenty-four homeless young people every night. Some of those beds were dedicated to long-term residents of the shelter, while others were available to whoever arrived first on a given night.

Arts Issue 2017 | Visual Arts

Gallery Review: Hyde Park Art Center

Community-oriented galleries like those in the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) are founded on the idea that encounters with art can be educational. Now, with a new exhibition called “Public School,” the gallery is exploring the possibility that education itself—meaning pencil sharpeners, cubbies, and swing sets—might be an object of artistic interest.

Interviews | Sports

Motivational Training Program

Fred Evans and Bob Valentine on swimming, coaching, and dreaming

Fred Evans is a swim coach at South Shore International College Prep, a selective enrollment school located on 75th and Jeffery. He has coached swimming in Chicago for over forty years, starting at Chicago State in 1974 and then moving on to Chicago South Swim Club, the first integrated swim team in the city. Before he was a coach, he swam at the collegiate level, where he became the first African American national swimming champion in the United States. His daughter Ajá Evans was an Olympic bobsledder and his son Frederick Evans III played in the NFL for nine years.

Faith | Features

Prisoners of Hope

After a century, Saint Sabina's fights an uphill battle

Luke White

Fifteen years ago, when Mack Julion first came to Saint Sabina’s in Auburn Gresham, the church didn’t have a youth ministry. After working for a few years in the office of the church’s longtime pastor, Father Michael Pfleger, he managed to convince Pfleger to let him start one. Now, the church’s youth ministry has programs for parishioners from ages thirteen to thirty-five. In some ways, Julion is a perfect Saint Sabina’s success story: the church empowered him to empower others.


CTU Unites with Activists, Workers for ‘Day of Action’

Thousands attend downtown rally to protest cuts and unfair funding

Community organizer Veronica Morris-Moore, co-founder of Fearless Leading by the Youth and a leader behind the campaign for a trauma center at the University of Chicago, was one of the first speakers at the Thompson Center rally, Luke White

“We’re in front of the children, we know what they need.”

Best of the South Side 2015 | Englewood

Best of Englewood 2015

Emeline Posner

My family was the third African-American family that moved into the community. I did experience the change, I did experience some of the racism that I endured as I was brought up in Englewood. I graduated from Henderson School in 1979, and I went to Gage Park High School, and you’ve probably heard about the racism, the riots there. Then I had my kids, then I went to Chicago State, where I obtained my Bachelor’s. So I’ve been working in Englewood a long time.


Making It

In the studio with Bruza and Kosine

Luke White

“Sometimes when you’re your own worst critic, you’re never satisfied.”

Visual Arts

Framing Life in Washington Park

South Side in Focus event displays snapshots of daily life

Kristin Lin

This past Friday, South Side in Focus, a University of Chicago student organization that aims to share and amplify the voices of South Side residents through public art exhibits, held a gallery opening and performance at Currency Exchange Café in Washington Park. The event, titled “As We See It,” featured photos (below) taken on disposable cameras by students from Imagine Englewood If… and the Chicago Youth Programs in Washington Park. The photos allowed the students to document daily life in their households and neighborhoods. Interviews with the student photographers and a video made by students from Englewood accompanied the images. Students also performed in an open mic event (above), sharing poetry that reflected on life in their neighborhoods. Find some of the students’ work reproduced here.


All Beer Tastes the Same

Reviews from a somewhat sober South Side Weekly editorial staff

Ellie Mejia

For our Food Issue, the Weekly elected not to simply identify and profile the various independent breweries that dot our side of the city. Instead, we chose to take the fall for our readers by trying brews from a selection of South Side breweries. I, your humble writer, watched and documented (in perfect sobriety) a lengthy tasting session that brought Weekly staff members past and present to booze-induced madness. By the end, I could hardly make out what they were saying, much less make sense of it. I have attempted to transcribe their impressions of a roster of beers hand-picked from across the South Side. What follows are the musings of your dear Weekly staff on a robust (but by no means complete) selection of South Side beers. Fair warning: We know nothing about beer. We hope, though, that our thoughts are a serviceable jumping off point for your own exploration of the South Side’s brews. So hop to it.

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Features | Housing

A Hole in the World

In a social service desert, activists and policymakers begin to make a space for the South Side’s homeless youth

KB, an aspiring rapper, practices a verse in the mirror before recording it at the drop-in center's recently installed "studio."

Homelessness, says Angelica, a twenty-two-year-old regular at the Teen Living Programs homeless youth drop-in center, is almost universally misunderstood.