The suburbs of Chicago may provide clean and safe environments for families, but the same peace of mind may be acquired while living in many communities of our fine city. Urban does not mean ghetto. Urban does not mean black, stylish, or “hood.” When we speak of urban and urbanization, we speak of the constant expansion of the population of our cities and towns. When we speak of urban development, we speak of the many improvements, legislative decisions and actions, and other considerations made on behalf of urban communities and the residents who live therein.

Established in 1965, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was designed to create a decent home and suitable living environment for all Americans, but many urban residents continue to suffer from lack. Poverty and crime continue to top the list of urban concerns, but the needs of residents in disenfranchised communities are not always the same. Therefore, suburbia does not offer a “one-size-fits-all” remedy for what ails city-dwellers. Some households are suffering because of inactivity. Some households suffer from disbelief. Others may suffer from insufficient or lack of support within the very household and community in which they live.

We cannot rely on our federal, state, or local governments to bring peace to our homes. By the same token, we cannot blame outside agencies for our lack of productivity and communal growth. The incubators, the places where we live and work, are as effective as we are. Our communities are an extension of who we are. Our communities are extensions of our homes. Our communities are an extension of our mindsets. When our community does not live up to our expectations, we must decide whether or not relocation is the answer, but we must address the needs of our household by looking at the situations in our households first. Though suburbia may offer an option for families to feel safe and to find peace, it is not always the answer. Peace begins at home, wherever home may be.

John D. Evans
Oak Park

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