Apparently a crime-ridden neighborhood for 40 years, this section of Chicago is becoming increasingly diversified and refugees are trying to get it under control.
From the Chicago Tribune:
On a typical evening in Edgewater, dozens of young men linger along the sidewalks of Thorndale Avenue near the elevated train stop. Their presence is intimidating, say many in the community, and sometimes there is drug dealing and theft.
But on Monday evenings, the scene changes. Sidewalks fill with children playing board games and adults engaged in cards and chatting over grape leaves, courtesy of local Iraqi refugees.
The organized gatherings — called Neighborhood Nights — take aim at a more than 40-year history of gang activity along the business district in the 1100 block of West Thorndale Avenue.
I hope it works out for the refugees placed in this bad neighborhood. At least this woman is taking the initiative and not just complaining about America not taking care of her.
The diversity of Edgewater, with about 64,000 residents, is obvious on just about any street: Iraqi women in head scarves, the colorful dress of African immigrants, Bosnian men smoking, young couples pushing strollers, and active senior citizens.
Together, Edgewater and Rogers Park are home to about 3,000 Iraqi refugees, according to Ahlam Mahmood, 44, of the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society. Mahmood said Neighborhood Nights allow the community an opportunity to meet their refugee neighbors.
“We are here to say to the neighborhood that you have Iraqi refugees,” said Mahmood, a humanitarian activist who fled to Chicago seven months ago with her two children. “We are in your neighborhood. Please welcome us.”