Suffering from epilepsy, Richard receives $725 a month in Social Security disability benefits and $100 in monthly SNAP food benefits.

September 2017:   “I’m beat. It was a long day,” Richard says while he rests after mowing yards from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a borrowed lawnmower. He made $40 for about 12 hours of work. “I’m an outgoing person. I do a lot of cutting grass here and there,” Richard said. “It’s hard out here. It’s a struggle, and I’m trying to get somewhere in life … just having a hard time. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just difficult. Life is painful.” 

September 2017:  “I’m beat. It was a long day,” Richard says while he rests after mowing yards from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a borrowed lawnmower. He made $40 for about 12 hours of work. “I’m an outgoing person. I do a lot of cutting grass here and there,” Richard said. “It’s hard out here. It’s a struggle, and I’m trying to get somewhere in life … just having a hard time. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just difficult. Life is painful.” 

"People of color in Illinois are disproportionately impacted by violence and poverty. Black men aged 15 – 44 comprised more than half of homicide victims in Illinois in 2015, while they make up just 3 percent of the state’s population. Across all measures of poverty and well-being, people of color fare far worse in Illinois.

Systemic forces, both historical and current, contribute to the concentration of poverty and violence in communities of color. A major consequence of this ongoing legacy of state violence against people of color is that generations of people of color were denied the same opportunities and rights as whites, creating a cycle of entrenched racial inequity that persists today.”  -  Heartland Alliance 2017

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