All posts by kimberlyjin2019

Chicago area public libraries offer staff social workers to link patrons to resources

By Kimberly Jin
Medill Reports

Out in the bitter cold air, Daniel Palmer waves his crumpled cardboard sign — “homeless anything helps” — at people and cars passing by. Every day the 34-year-old stands here, at the intersection of South LaSalle Street and West Congress Parkway, patiently panhandling for hours. This is his “spot,” he says.

It’s not only about the busy traffic flow. From here, he can easily take a five-minute walk to the Harold Washington Library, where he goes to stay warm if it “gets too cold” in the wind, to read the newspaper, and check on the weather forecast, like many other homeless people.

Public libraries welcome everybody, no matter how much or little they have. But as more people in need such as Palmer turn to public libraries for warmth and safety, Chicago and area suburbs are leading the way in a growing trend where public libraries respond to the needs of the homeless by including social workers on staff to offer professional assistance.

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Young women’s march draws hundreds amid furious snowstorm

By Kimberly Jin
Medill Reports

Amid fierce wind and heavy snowfall, hundreds gathered on Federal Plaza in Chicago on Saturday to support women’s rights and young local activists committed to human rights, social justice and health care.

Jazmine-Marie Cruz, a freshman at Roosevelt University, organized the rally after learning that Women’s March Chicago won’t be sponsoring a march this year. She said she was touched and encouraged by the large turnout for the Young Women’s March Rally.

“I’m so proud of everybody who showed up,” the 19-year-old said. “Oppression doesn’t stop because it’s snowing. We obviously showed that no matter what the weather Chicago is ready to fight for the world that we want.”
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