While sitting in my apartment, sipping tea and watching the snow fall I begin to wonder how those who are less fortunate survive the winter. As I look out to the West at any point during the day or night I can see the three buildings Cabrini-Green has to offer. Cabrini-Green housing projects are the most infamous in the country. Decades of poverty and violence have rendered them near inhabitable. They are currently being demolished and the residents are being relocated. Some will move near-by into brand new condos, some will get placed around the Chicagoland area, and some, inevitably will become homeless.
I’m saddened to hear that as the city of Chicago finishes their demolition some of these families will become homeless. Cabrini-Green has been neglected for so many years, which is why it is associated with gang violence. The school systems surrounding Cabrini have a lack of funding, which results in the heat not turning on always. Would you send your child to a school with no heat? NO, you wouldn’t. Why? Because Chicago is freezing. But they don’t have a choice but to send their child there and hope that they will be able to recieve a decent enough education in below average conditions.
It’s days like today where I worry about the children in these homes that were born into this life style. They don’t know any better and typically they don’t have any good influences or people to look up to in their life. When I grew up, I looked up to my father, I wanted to be just as successful as he was. So, what did I do? I was the best I could be, to get where I am today, a second year college student graduating a year early to fulfill her dream of joining a PR firm. But, unlike some, I lived in a household where there were expectations for me to meet, I had people who believed in me who wanted to see me succeed. These children who live in low-income neighborhoods such as Cabrini-Green need positive influence, they need people to tell them that they can achieve their dreams if they try hard enough.
Cabrini Connections is a tutor mentor program which was designed with these children in mind. It’s a safe place for children and teens to come after school to work on homework, play games, write college applications, among other things. One of the main keys of success is to have someone believe in you and that is excatly what we do here at Cabrini Connections. We give these children and teens the stepping stones and the guidance to succeed in the future and to hopefully one day lead a better life than that they were born into.
I believe that to have a brighter future for all we need to shape the lives of the children and teens today. So please, if you see it in your heart please send a donation to www.cabriniconnections.net
If you don’t have the cash but you have the time please visit either of those sites and see how you can become a volunteer.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and God Bless,
Jordan E. Merlo