Audio Slideshow: Visit the mission and hear the stories of those staying there.
By Fatimah Salami and Amber Tweedie
After being turned away from several homeless shelters for not fitting their criteria, 20-year-old Alex Samuelson sought out one more place where he hoped to temporarily call home, San Jose Obrero Mission.
San Jose Obrero is a Latino male homeless shelter in East Pilsen that finally gave Alex a place to lay his head and opportunities to rebuild his life.
“Everybody is equal here,” said Samuelson. “We’re all in the same boat. Just because you speak one language or both languages or just because you’re one color it doesn’t matter here. We’re all brothers here.”
San Jose Obrero began as an organization by Friar David Staszak in 1981 as a way to fight homelessness in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
Interactive Map: For locations of San jose Obrero missions in Chicago, visit this map
ChicagoStorytelling’s Charlotte Eriksen wrote a story for GapersBlock about the challenges that Inspiration Cafe and Cafe Too employees face in their journey from homelessness.
The story was written as part of ChicagoStorytelling’s “Chicago After Dark” series but was picked up by GapersBlock, the hyperlocal Chicago site.
Want more? Watch this video that some other student journalists produced on the homeless in Chicago:
Rodney Carter tells his story of life on the streets. (Photo: Caitlin Hacker)
In any given year, between 2.5 million and 3.5 million people in the United States live on the streets, not knowing where their next meal will come from or bed will be.
Willy Wilkn sells StreetWise on Michigan Avenue. (Photo by Caitlin Hacker)
People just like Chicago’s Rodney Carter and Willy Wilkn.
ChicagoStorytelling’s Caitlin Hacker, Manuel Argueta and Jessica Ernst interviewed Jenkins, Wilkn and other Chicagoans who recounted how they became homeless, how they survive the brutal winters and how others treat them.
They also interviewed workers from Cafe Too, a restaurant that hires homeless people to help them earn a living and get off of the streets.
Audio Slideshow: Chicago’s homeless tell their stories, and an employee at Cafe Too talks about the journey out of homelessness. Music provided rights-free by PodSafeAudio.com.
Watch the video:
Posted in Chicago, photos, Streets
Tagged Cafe Too, Caitlin Hacker, Chicago, Chicago's Homeless, homeless, Inspiration Cafe, Jessica Ernst, Manuel Argueta, Rodney Carter, StreetWise, Willy Wilkn