Changing Chatham: Neighborhood Struggles With Class Divide

June 27, 2011  |  

(Chicago Sun Times) — It used to be that, to live in Chatham, you practically had to know someone. As a mother with no husband — despite having a 9-to-5 — my chances of finding a landlord who’d rent me an apartment in one of Chatham’s immaculate three-flats were slim.  The landlords there could afford to be picky. Few of them would rent to you just because you told them you were a mom desperate to move to a neighborhood where you didn’t have to worry about gangs and guns.  That’s another thing that’s different about Chatham these days.  Looking for the new Chatham, I stopped in at the Chatham Coin Laundry on 83rd near Cottage Grove. There were plenty of single, working-class women there who live in the neighborhood.  Delores Bell was one of them. She works for United Airlines, in ground services, and moved to Chatham about two years ago, from Logan Square. For her, it was just another place to live. Bell says she didn’t know much at all about Chatham at the time. She still doesn’t.

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