About West Side Forward Initiative

The Plan

Be a part of the change. Explore the details of our strategic plan to bring an end to poverty on Chicago's West Side

Orgs & Programs

There are many organizations working together to find solutions to poverty. Learn more about them in this section.

People & Profiles

The West Side is home to thousands of residents with vibrant stories and histories to share. Explore them here.

Get Involved

Want to join in supporting West Side Froward? There are lots of way you can help. Click here to see how.

Recent Posts

25
Jul2014
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Bethel New Life Awarded K

Two-Year Grant for Pilot Program Bethel New Life has played a key role in community development on the West Side of Chicago for over thre[...]

01
Aug2014
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Not My Neighborhood

It makes no difference that a crime has its roots in “another neighborhood,” and to suggest otherwise is to embrace an attitude that[...]

01
Aug2014
Business man hand drawing  graph

Does Chicago Need a Marsh

West and South Sides Inclusive Economic Plan In a recent opinion piece in Crain’s Chicago Business (July 21, 2014), James Reynolds Jr. of[...]

13
Nov2014
Bethel_A-0329_1

The Catch-22 of Concentra

In June 2014, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez addressed the Annual Meeting of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions in Chicago. While his r[...]

The Plan : Transforming Chicago's West Side Community

Bethel New Life aims to bring an end to decades of concentrated poverty on Chicago's West Side through strategic and cooperative community transformation investments. We plan to achieve this by initiating a new era in our community development efforts through a strategy of investments that focus on

West Side Stats

The Numbers

  • West Side Overall
  • West Garfiled Park
  • East Garfiled Park
  • Humboldt Park
  • North Lawndale
  • Austin
  • Chicago
  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)

    16.07

    Population

    248,590

    Pop. Density (people/mi2)

    15,629

    Household size

    3.0

    Median Income

    $26,292

    Below poverty

    39.4%

    < HS Education

    43.0%

    Bachelor’s

    19.3%

    Employment Rate

    19.3%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)

    19.7%

    Per Capita Income

    $13,358

    %18-64 years of age

    59.2%

    Hardship Index

    85

    Hardship Index Ranking

    11

  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)2

    1.294

    Population2

    25,444

    Pop. Density (people/mi2)

    19,664

    Household size19

    3

    Median Income20

    $24,600

    Below poverty1

    40.90%

    <HS Education1

    41.80%

    Bachelor’s+2

    17.10%

    Employment Rate2

    39.30%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)1

    25.60%

    Per Capita Income2

    $11,238

    %18-64 years of age1

    57.80%

    Hardship Index1

    92

    Hardship Index Ranking1

    6

  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)2

    1.915

    Population2

    24,399

    Pop. Density (people/mi2)

    12,738

    Household size19

    2.9

    Median Income20

    $25,291

    Below poverty1

    47.10%

    < HS Education1

    40.60%

    Bachelor’s+2

    23.60%

    Employment Rate2

    40.70%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)1

    18.20%

    Per Capita Income2

    $12,992

    %18-64 years of age1

    56.20%

    Hardship Index1

    87

    Hardship Index Ranking1

    10

  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)2

    3.583

    Population2

    62,276

    Pop. Density (people/mi1)

    17,381

    Household size19

    3.2

    Median Income20

    $29,124

    Below poverty1

    34.30%

    < HS Education1

    47.20%

    Bachelor’s+2

    17.70%

    Employment Rate2

    46.30%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)1

    15.00%

    Per Capita Income2

    $13,588

    %18-64 years of age1

    61.20%

    Hardship Index1

    85

    Hardship Index Ranking1

    11

  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)2

    3.3185

    Population2

    39,836

    Pop. Density (people/mi2)

    12,508

    Household size19

    3

    Median Income20

    $26,292

    Below poverty1

    43.90%

    < HS Education1

    44.80%

    Bachelor’s+2

    19.70%

    Employment Rate2

    38.80%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)1

    17.06%

    Per Capita Income2

    $12,752

    %18-64 years of age1

    58.70%

    Hardship Index1

    84

    Hardship Index Ranking1

    12

  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)2

    6.095

    Population2

    96,635

    Pop. Density (people/mi2)

    15,854

    Household size19

    3

    Median Income20

    $33,557

    Below poverty1

    30.80%

    < HS Education1

    40.40%

    Bachelor’s+2

    18.40%

    Employment Rate2

    48.80%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)1

    22.10%

    Per Capita Income2

    $16,289

    %18-64 years of age1

    61.90%

    Hardship Index1

    73

    Hardship Index Ranking1

    21

  • The majority of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods have poverty rates that exceed 34.9%, with highest concentrations in East and West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
    Poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 27.2% (Austin) to 43.7% (East Garfi eld Park), encompassing some 77,000 residents.

    Extreme poverty rates on the West Side of Chicago range from 12% (Austin) to 24.3% (East Garfield Park), encompassing some 38,574 residents.

    Currently, 33% of Illinois residents live in or near poverty and 22% of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Area (sq mi)2

    227.01

    Population2

    2,714,856

    Pop. Density (people/mi2)

    11,593

    Household size19

    2.5

    Median Income20

    $46,195

    Below poverty1

    19.00%

    < HS Education1

    19.30%

    Bachelor’s+2

    33.00%

    Employment Rate2

    59.40%

    Unemployment Rate (16+)1

    9.30%

    Per Capita Income2

    $27,940

    %18-64 years of age1

    66.20%

    Hardship Index1

     

    Hardship Index Ranking1

     

Organizations & Programs

UILABS

The developers of a public-private research lab

CHICAGOCOMMONS

For 120 years, Chicago Commons’ mission

BYTHEHAND

We are a Christ-centered, after-school program

BLUE1647

We are an impactful social innovation center in

TMA

Tma

TMA was formed with the philosophy that

BNL

Bethel New Life is a 501c3 non-profit organization

Transformation: What It Looks Like

27,000 Jobs
$ 17.32 Hourly wage
$ 974,167,766 Annual New wage

The initial opportunity for improvement rests in those who are not yet employed but will be in the near future and in those who are not employed currently, but could be. Initial efforts must focus on newly employing 27,000 more individuals in skilled jobs. For positive transformation to occur, residents of the West Side need more and better paying jobs.

Bringing an end to decades of concentrated poverty on Chicago’s west side through strategic and cooperative community transformation investments.

News on Facebook

Bethel New Life created an Effective Crowdfunding for Small Business. ...

Be our guest Wednesday, April 29 at an Effective Crowdfunding for Small Business workshop. Bethel New Life is located at 1140 N Lamon Ave (near Cicero and Division). More info: sbdc@bethelnewlife.org or 773.473.7870 x113

Effective Crowdfunding for Small Business

April 29, 2015, 4:00pm - April 29, 2015, 6:00pm

Bethel New Life

Be our guest Wednesday, April 29 at an Effective Crowdfunding for Small Business workshop. Bethel New Life is located at 1140 N Lamon Ave (near Cicero and Division). More info: sbdc@bethelnewlife.org or 773.473.7870 x113

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Contact

Bethel New Life
4950 W. Thomas
Chicago, Illinois 60651
Phone: 773-473-7870
Fax: 773-473-7871
Email: info@bethelnewlife.org

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