[Homeless kids in Chicago]

This news segment reports on the homelessness problem among youth and families in the city of Chicago.

0:01Copy video clip URL This news segment reports on homeless kids living on the streets of Chicago. Elizabeth Brackett speaks to Nelson Gonzales, a 17-year-old who talks about his life as a homeless teenager.

3:04Copy video clip URL People who work with homeless youth say that the feeling of alienation, and lack of self-esteem that comes with homelessness is devastating to the homeless. Brackett speaks to John Wisniski, a homeless teenager on the north side, about how he became homeless. He is in a government training program and intends to finish a high school equivalency program. Gonzales has stayed in school for much of the last three years. He talks about the difficulties of staying in school while living in an overnight homeless shelter.

6:48Copy video clip URL Brackett talks about May Cherry Whiteside and her mother Zanobia, who both live at a homeless shelter. Zanobia accompanies her daughter on the long trip from the shelter to her elementary school. Whiteside’s teacher says that homelessness has taken a toll on her work. Zanobia is determined to keep her daughter in school.

9:09Copy video clip URL Brackett speaks to Sister Connie Driscoll, the operator of the Whitesides’ shelter, who says that the psychological effects are the most devastating part of homelessness. The shelter organized a Christmas party, which is meant to “relieve the feeling that no one cares”. Brackett speaks to Tanya Young, who is staying at this same shelter with her three children.

11:30Copy video clip URL People who work with homeless families say that the problem has gotten worse in the past five years, partially because many apartment buildings fell into disrepair and were torn down, but no new low-income apartments have replaced them. Driscoll says that homeless women and children used to be unusual, but they now make up close to half of Chicago’s homeless population.

13:38Copy video clip URL Judith Walker, the city administrator in charge of the homeless problem, insists that the city has enough beds to get the homeless off the streets during the winter, but she admits that a long-term solution is more difficult. She believes the city is in need of more low-income housing and support services. Brackett speaks to Sister Driscoll about her decision to adopt a homeless child.

16:16Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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