The Plan of Action to Help Low Income Communities Thrive

Dec 13, 2021

As of this week, there have been 344 murders in Chicago in 2018. Efforts put forth by city officials have failed to stem the tide of not only murders in the city, but of full neighborhoods being taken under the control of criminals.  We recently visited Chicago and found an absolutely wonderful city–clean, vibrant, diverse and full of things to do. We did not, however, visit the South Side. Like most cities with high crime areas, these sections of the city are simply forgotten. Murder is a symptom of poverty–and government officials throughout the United States where poverty exists have no answers on how to mitigate either the symptoms or the cause.

Part of the problem is that government involvement means bureaucracy instead of action.  Poverty will only be solved once cities are able to integrate creative counseling services and guidance into communities in need. They’ll also need to consider job training and solid school systems, as well as police officers committed to working within these communities and getting to know the citizens to keep neighborhoods safe. Unfortunately, most cities have all of the above to offer, but what’s missing is the buy-in from those in need. Both parties need to work in tandem to solve this crisis, starting locally.

There’s a common argument that this kind of crime and violence is out of our collective control, but there needs to be a real commitment to solve poverty not through just government intervention, but from itself within its communities. Leaders can be found and have been found, but we need to enable them with the tools, resources and support to lead.  We need companies to move into areas of poverty with the understanding that they will initially lose revenue, but will gain in the long-term as their efforts take hold and communities begin to thrive. With President Trump’s moves to get manufacturing back to the U.S., this is a great time for states like Illinois to embrace enterprise zone type incentives to attract companies seeking new domestic locations for manufacturing.  This would be win-win, not to mention unions that are looking to expand their vocational training programs to attract new workers into the construction fields. Working with Unions to expand into this impoverished areas would be a great move to find new workers willing to enter the trades. Overall, opportunities abound–and it can and will happen, as long as companies are able to take a leap of faith.

Photo Credit: Andrea Nissolino Flickr via Compfight cc


Written by: Hans Hansson

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Hans Hansson is President of Starboard Commercial Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 35 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email [email protected] or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,