“One in this series of irregularly scheduled in-depth reports. This program focuses on the lives of nine families living in a dilapidated tenement on Chicago’s south.”
From CBS News
“This program focuses on the lives of nine families living in a dilapidated tenement on Chicago’s south side in 1966. It includes interviews with Chicago residents, including those who lived at 3823 South Ellis Street prior to their eviction. Program highlights depict the following: a mother and newborn leave Cook County Hospital; Georgia Johnson, a tenant for fifteen years; a mother washes for a family of twelve; an eleven-year-old cares for younger siblings; members of “The Four Corners” gang; children play in a vacant lot; the tenement at 10:00 pm; church service; a neighborhood fire; high school drop-outs; a tenant’s funeral; and exodus of tenants before the building is demolished.”
Source:CBS News– 1967 documentary about a Chicago ghetto.
From CBS News
At risk of sounding political, but I’ll also be factual here, what you see in this film and community is the failures of public housing in America. And essentially forced segregation of not just the races, but of the economic classes for lack of a better term in America. Where you had middle class communities that are doing well. Upper class communities that are doing very well. And then lower class communities where the people there get what is left. Which is run-down apartment buildings, run-down schools. High crime rates where no one with real money wants to invest. And you create a community that looks like a big city inside of a third world country.
Public housing by itself is not a problem because that has prevented a lot of homelessness in America. But how its been run and managed in America especially for the kids being trapped in such run-down communities in run-down neighborhoods. A lot of times in single-parent families where the father is out of the picture for one reason or another. Where the mother might not even have a high school diploma let alone any college experience. Working two or three jobs to support her several kids, if she’s working at all. And having communities like this has serious costs. For the people who live there obviously, but for the country as a whole that has to try to makeup for what these families aren’t able to provide for themselves.
And the way public housing has been run in America has negatively affected the African-American community probably more than any community in the country other than the American-Indian community. Because African-Americans have generally had a poverty level twice that of the national average. And much higher than the Caucasian-American and Asian-American communities in America. And this is something that we should stop doing as a country and instead having public housing buildings in middle class communities. With education, job training and work opportunities for the people in these communities so they don’t have to live in public housing at all.