West Englewood Problems
West Englewood is a neighbourhood located in Southwest Chicago. Initially known as South Lynne, the neighbourhood covers an area of 3.151 square miles and has a population of approximately 32, 156 people. Currently, the neighbourhood is in a state of transition. The neighbourhood has close proximity to the Dan Ryan Expressway and Midway International airport, which helps in maintaining its accessibility and vitality. The neighborhood has plenty of public parks and single-family houses, and its business district is expanding. Notably, the city is commuter friendly and has a variety of housing options for buyers who are conscious of the budget. The majority of the people that live in West Englewood are black people, accounting for 91% of the population, followed by Hispanics. White people in the neighbourhood are rather few and only account for 1% of the population.
Despite being an excellent neighbourhood to live in, West Englewood continues to face a variety of problems. One of the main issues confronting the West Englewood neighbourhood is safety. West Englewood has been consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods to live in. It is the epicenter of violent behavior in Chicago. It is unfortunate that residents have to exist in fear when loving around the neighborhood. In West Englewood, about 46% of adults do not feel safe staying alone at night, while 35% say they do not feel safe staying alone during the day. Clear’s approach of getting law enforcement more involved in the community would go a long way in addressing the problem of insecurity in the neighborhood. This can be done by increasing police patrol at all times to monitor and respond to cases of insecurity. Another major problem facing West Englewood is health inequalities. The health conditions of West Englewood indicate deep and far-reaching impacts of historic and continuing systemic racism on communities that are predominantly African-American. A community-driven survey conducted on West Englewood and eight other neighborhoods point to health inequalities emanating from socioeconomic barriers of opportunity. Because people of color have been exempted from education, their chances of finishing school and getting a well-paying job are limited, limiting their ability to access quality healthcare. The best community intervention that can work for this issue is by increasing the diversity for health professionals and pushing for more aggressive heath professional education. The intervention would work as it addresses the problem at its roots.
West Englewood also grapples with the problem of high rates of unemployment. The city faces a huge problem of a dismal job market. A huge number of youths remain unemployed. The rate of unemployment has been stagnant for the past five years, with the figure hovering around 37%. This issue is dire to the extent that majority of the poor people are jobless and have to travel to suburbs to look for work in construction sites for minimum wage. Others hope from house to house looking for menial jobs to enough jobs to sustain them. Clear’s strategy of changing community mindset will not help address the problem because it does not address the issue at the root. Asking people not to choose jobs is not helpful if there are no jobs to choose from. The best way of addressing the high rates of unemployment is changing policies to do with seasonal unemployment and making changes to the education system. Another challenge facing West Englewood is obesity. In some parts of West Englewood, like Chicago Lawn, Park and North Lawndale, more than half of the women are obese. Additionally, 44% of the adult population is obese throughout the neighbourhood compared to 29 %, which is the national obesity. Mass education as an intervention for obesity would not help address the problem because obesity is a rather complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach.