Cairo

Keith Freeman / Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Illinois' child poverty rate is just as high as it was in 2010. Is the state doing enough to bring it down?

Kellia Phillips’ teen-aged daughters Jaleece and Janae run track. They have had to do so in ill-fitting shoes sometimes as old as three years.

Janae, 13, loves to knit and crochet. Her mother, says, “I could only get her yarn like every three months and she was so much into knitting and crocheting. I still can’t do that for her right now because I have no income.’’ 

Illinois Issues: Cairo Faces Public Housing Crisis

Aug 17, 2017
Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan

Southern Illinois city's residents grapple with planned closure of public housing complexes.

NPR

Cairo is at the bottom of Illinois. And not just geographically.  Poverty is high in a town mired in one of the most de-populating counties in the U.S. 

Paul Sableman

After reports of unlivable conditions at public housing in Cairo, Illinois, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took over the Alexander County Housing Authority earlier this year.

Southern Illinoisan reporter Molly Parker has been following the story. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn checked in with her recently for an update. 

Classie Poe says East St. Louis even has few fast-food jobs
Robert Loerzel / WUIS/Illinois Issues

In some pockets of Illinois, where one in every three people live in poverty or close to it, the need is visible in the landscape: empty lots where buildings once stood in Cairo; abandoned houses marked with X’s in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood; families living in ramshackle trailers in Kankakee County’s Pembroke Township.