Chatham is an urban community located on the south side of the city of Chicago. The Chatham community has a population of approximately 37,000 (U.S. Census 2000). The heterogeneity and density level of the community is high. The demographic of the community consists of 98% African American, 59% Hispanic, 32% white, 7% Asian, and 1% other (U.S. Census 2000). The median income of the residents is $35,000 (U.S. Census 2000).
The natural boundary for the Chatham community, are division lines set by the political system. These lines distinguish each community and establish wards. Wards are part of the larger governing systems represented by Alderman. This is an example of the political-legal approach of the structural theories. The other structural theory approach seen in the community is the power structure.
The elected Alderwoman Freddrenna M.Lyle holds the power and facilitates the social networking of the community with the larger ...view middle of the document...
Many senior’s, have resided in the community for over 40years (city Chicago 2009). The development of several Senior Living facilities and the available resources they provide, are critical aspects that maintain seniors position within the community. These facilities not only house the seniors who live there but also serve as a gathering place for seniors to meet and greet.
The senior’s, learn or enhance computer skills and receive meals. These efforts for the seniors are examples of the empowerment of individuals. The empowerment of the community is achieved through making resources assessable. Over the last ten years, new shopping areas were developed making shopping more assessable. Another way to empower the community is problem solving.
Chatham high crime rate has decreased due to the formation of community action groups like The Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS). Other inputs such as after school programs for youth decrease their participation in crime activity. Over the years, the number of community, block clubs increased as well as residents, participation with community revitalization projects. The strength perspective, suggest the Chatham community appears to be a bonding community. The church community within Chatham assists in the empowerment process by providing prayer for the sick and the needy.
Chatham is a vibrant community. There are seven area parks, two Catholic schools, two public high schools, six area libraries, and many public elementary schools within and around the community. The 6th ward has great social networks with many influential organizations such as the NAACP, Rainbow Push, and the Englewood Collaboration council. The Chatham community functions to serve the elderly and youth within the community and surrounding area.
In conclusion, Chatham is a community focused on the empowerment of its residents. Implementation of social programs and community action groups help ensure the revitalization process continues its success. The political structure of the community enhances the probability of allocation of needed resources to the community. The array of subsystems operating harmoniously, affects the lives of residents positively. This community setting someday will serve as an example to communities striving to overcome social injustice.