Rising third year shot on Green Line train, dies of injuries

The tenderloin area of SF is the worst. We drove by it and it’s a real eyesore and last we visited my son who lives there, just before the pandemic in December 2019, I couldn’t believe what I saw. But the homeless don’t stay in that area.

In Austin they complain about the tent cities and homeless all the time, but the people have no idea what it is unless they’ve been to SF.

We have plenty here in Chicago too, but they’re more spread out. Unfortunately, a lot of the homeless have mental health issues that go unaddressed and they often end up in jail instead of getting the care they really need. Then you have the ones who don’t want any help. It’s a sad situation there too and real problem.

I remember when Cabrini Green was knocked down and that area regentrified with subsidized housing. Tearing down the projects and mixing the new expensive housing with low income housing. If you drive by there on any given day you can see that. I don’t know what the overall affects are of it, but it sure looks better than it did 20 years ago (or whenever it was torn down) and now it is safe to drive through. It’s like Hyde Park. There are areas in Hyde Park with million dollar homes (Obama) and then there are some awful areas. It was also known in the past that you don’t go South of the Midway. I think there’s been some shift there but I don’t know how far South. But there’s still a point that you just don’t go South of. And, there are areas you don’t go North of if you can avoid. Taking LSD is always preferable to taking I-90 to get to U-Chicago.

Property taxes here are horrendous, and now they just raised gas taxes yet again. These regressive taxes don’t help the lower income. There was a progressive tax bill on the last ballot in November ballot but people voted it down. We are in major debt as a state and that doesn’t help the schools or cities, etc either. But honestly, even if they did get the $ I’m not sure any of these people could figure out what to do with it. I’m not sure anyone can.

The deceased University of Chicago student was from the Denver, Colorado area. The deceased was given the choice to live on a ventilator in a state of paralysis or die; he blinked his choice to have the ventilator removed.

Stray bullet deaths have been reported in many areas of the continental US, not just in Chicago.

Very sad.

1 Like

You are right. It can happen anywhere. And I am not one of those to live in fear, rather reduce the odds and be vigilant. These conversations happen at our house quite frequently, have been happening really forever, because, well, that’s all we can do. We can’t live their lives for them, but it breaks your heart when something like this happens.

@marlowe1 Yes, you are correct and I probably should have worded it better. What I meant to say is social mobility has been declining and, naturally, it affects the poor the most. Stagnant wages, rising shelter costs…inflation is a tax on the most vulnerable and economic deterioration has its effects on societal structures.

@srparent15 thank you for helping this anxious mother! You have been a blessing to me. :slightly_smiling_face:


It can happen anywhere—in the US. Just think if we could go back to a time when people would be astounding by such a statement.

1 Like

Oh I love that line "And I am not one of those to live in fear, rather reduce the odds and be vigilant. " So true!

I’m not an overbearing mother or helicopter mother. My kids never had a curfew or anyhting like that, but my kids always told me where they were. The first year my daughters wanted to go to Lollapalooza was the summer before junior year in high school. Well, no way were they going down there and taking the train (regular metra train) by themselves both ways. While there are no bad stops between ours and downtown, you never know what kind of whackadoos are on the trains at midnight just looking for trouble. I’ve heard of instances where kids fall asleep and get assaulted (sexually or otherwise) and not taking any chances with my kids who rarely every went downtown to begin with. So, we decided that we would get two hotel rooms. One for them and one for us. They went with one friend (and met others there). My husband and I did our thing, went to dinner then chilled at the hotel. So sure enough, that year that night major storms it was awful. They had to close it early. The girls came back to the hotel soaked. Luckily we were right near Grant Park at the Hyatt but ugh dirt and mess and teenage girls don’t mess. Their other friends that had been there it was a disaster, no one could get ubers to the trains, their groups got lost from one another, trains were too crowded, they also leave at set times once/hour, etc. Best thing we ever did. The next year though, since they were a little more familiar, I let them go but on the train only, not the subway which from our area still would’ve been safe, but other issues with getting them to/from there late at night because I didn’t want them driving because you just don’t know if someone was going to drink, etc. Thank god they stayed with their friends etc, but their other friends ugh, blew one another off, all that stuff. Bottom line is that when I need to be strict with them on certain things like that I won’t hold back. I went to school in Chicago and taught in Chicago as well as lived there in college and after I was married so I am well familiar with how careful one needs to be. But you said it, you need to be vigilent. My husband is from NYC and he will tell me not to take the subway and I just laugh at him. Of course one can take the subway, but be aware of it and know where not to go. He was a sheltered only child. My kids aren’t sheltered, but naive, for sure.

Best way to describe what you were describing is the income gap is widening and that’s a big problem. My husband and I discuss it all the time. I just got one tuition bill for $30k. The Michigan one hasn’t come yet, but that’s going to be $26k plus their extras, and my Texas one who only because she gained residence is only $6700. Had she not would have been $23k. I’ve been saving for them since the minute they were born and they have substantial 529 accounts because of it. But, that’s because I have been able to save and put that in from working, etc. What about people who can’t? Who can pay that? If you don’t have the extra money to put into college accounts when you’re kids are born then you won’t have any extra money for anything and the gap is going to widen and widen. My husband thinks the tax rate should be like 70% for people who make more than $1m. He’s probably right, but when you have people like Peter Thiel who has $5b in a Roth IRA that’s all non-taxable income to him, then what are your options? Housing is expensive, too many taxes are regressive, property taxes are outrageous, now we have inflation and rising food prices, car prices, etc. Not to mention the Delta variant making it’s way around the states with low vaccination rates. That’s going to knock off a lot of people. I just read that every death in June due to covid was an unvaccinated person. Common sense.

Anyway, back to the main topic. Campus safety. I know USC has a phenomenal security system and their campus I believe is similar to U-Chicago. Does UC have anything like USC in place? If not, someone should have them look into that.

UChicago has phenomenal security around it. My DD who is now heading to JHU in Baltimore after 4 years at UChicago (sounds even less safe) is now a veteran of being smart about traveling. As an anecdote, she went to see a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, she ended up by herself due to a late canx by her friend. $100 in Ubers (she has my CC on her Uber acct) to get there in back (mostly to get back) so the movie was $110. I told her she made the right choice to take the Uber home (instead of the train) but the poor choice was made long before that. She’s ridden the Green/Red/Blue/Bus Line many times, but there is a time to just spend my money on an Uber.

That would crush my soul.


100% and there is a time to be cheap and definitely a time NOT to worry about saving a few dollars.

Great news about the tight security. :slight_smile:

I remember when my ex husband was in medical school there and one of his friends was walking on the outskirts of campus and got mugged. Well, someone attempted to mug him. This small asian guy. Well, let’s just say, bad move by the mugger because this guy was a blackbelt, lol and gave the guy a bloody nose and if I recall correctly, was pretty sure he probably broke the nose. So that guy wasn’t too worried about walking aroudn in Hyde Park.

Btw @marlowe1 your post a bit bag reminded me …my father lives in South Shore as he went to South Shore High School! He grew up on Stony Island. He showed us the house he lived in awhile back. Things have certainly changed.

Tent cities are in several towns now, not just sections of the West Coast. Chicago and Minneapolis are two cities that have similar homeless communities. The two I’m aware of in Chicago and Minneapolis were sanctioned and that was before the pandemic. More have sprung up in Chicago since Covid - I drove past one in Chinatown last year.

These are distinct situations from the “typical” lower income family trying to remain close to jobs and schools in the city. I could be wrong but I don’t believe those families have been reduced to living in tents due to homelessness; they have instead relocated out of the city. Perhaps you can correct me but it appears that most of the homeless in the tent cities are single and don’t work. Most who work need a permanent address.

The economic situation today is distinct from the conditions that led to the Great Depression and I’d be happy to forward some macroeconomic research on the topic if you want. Tent Cities and other homeless communities have been around for a few years now, and the homeless have taken over public spaces in pretty much every major city I’ve lived in here in the US for decades now. It’s nothing new.

I’d argue that many Americans are more inclined to value both private property and public spaces and are willing to pay for upkeep of both - and make use of both. Usually the system runs fairly well, but things like pandemics can mess it up. For instance, I noticed during UChicago’s graduation weekend that the Hyde Park Hyatt Place was turning away parents who had reservations due to a miscounting by management of the number of available rooms. Many of those rooms were still housing elderly and very cheerful homeless residents - several were on our floor and we met and conversed with them during our stay. It was no doubt a legitimate agreement with the city; unfortunately, however, one group had to get the shaft due to lack of space; priority that weekend was given to the persons experiencing homelessness over UChicago parents and their misplaced faith and trust in the Hyatt reservation system. So rest assured that at least at one higher-end establishment in one city on one weekend, the less fortunate had the place of privilege. No doubt other hotels throughout the Chicago were doing the same (it was not an uncrowded weekend in that city).

60th to 63rd is fine east of Cottage Grove. There are students who also live in West Woodlawn around the Jewel Osco; not sure how safe it is but UCPD is only a few blocks away. South Shore (67th - 79th) was improving markedly prior to the Great Recession but during that time many small businesses owned by local residents went belly-up. Some of the area has since been re-claimed by gangs and young black families have moved out to safer areas.

Well, given that a woman was shot while driving on the Dan Ryan shortly after the UChicago student was hit at the L stop . . . yeah, I’d prefer LSD at this point! Sad, too, because I’ve always taken the Ryan and have since I was a student there many decades ago and Robert Taylor Homes were at their worst.

You are kidding right? It’s called “graft.”

He went to a middle/high school about 3 miles from my house and the funeral reception was held at that school today. I think he was from a wealthy family and could have taken an Uber or taxi, but no one expects the random act of violence that killed Max. There has been some crime on our light rail system, but really very little and we all use the system to get around town all the time, especially the college kids who pay for a pass as part of their student fees (all the colleges in Denver, like DU, Metro, the community colleges, Regis). It is common to use the system to go to events downtown like ball games and concerts.


We use LR in the Twin Cities and while I’m sure there’s some crime it doesn’t tend to be major news. Most injuries or deaths seem to result from cars colliding with the trains. There is a significant uptick in shootings in Minneapolis - a west metro suburban dad and his kid were shot at while driving home from kid’s baseball game the other day on a well-known highway at rush hour in one of the regular ol’ suburbs around here. Dad was killed; perp and perp’s car still at large. Unfortunately the amount of crime and social unrest in Minneapolis has continued unabated for over a year now and the number of shootings and homicides are up significantly over last year (and that was up significantly over 2019).

I don’t even notice that real estate prices have been impacted either in Chicago or in the Twin Cities (can’t speak to other areas experiencing a surge in shootings and/or social unrest). All else equal they probably have been a bit but the price trend is still strongly positive. Maybe people see this as a bearable social cost. Hyde Park will always be more reasonably-priced than Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, West Loop, Near North etc. - but get a bit farther up into the residential areas north of the Loop and you will see more similar pricing, at least for the condos that my kid is looking at. Proximity to the downtown seems to be driving prices more than crime, shootings, etc.

1 Like

Oh, they are definitely all over the place! Not limited to San Fran or Chicago; and the numbers keep growing. My mention of San Fran was from my personal experience - it was the first time I actually saw a tent city, so to me it was kind of “new”.

I think I understand what you are saying in reference to families relocating out of the city and wanting some sort of yard or space. Been happening forever. Look at Atlanta. But I’m afraid this type of choice is no longer a possibility for low income families. Those who are able to benefit from that sort of mobility are the middle/upper middle class folks. The working poor are one paycheck away from homelessness.

That’s a misconception that many have. Many people living in these encampments do work. In fact, many hold more than two jobs. And while the majority may be single, there are entire families living under these conditions as well.

Oh, very much so! Although I see glaring similarities. But ,surely, many more variables at play. Then again, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Would love to know your take on that. And yes, please! The more the merrier.

I’m one of those. And I don’t think I would have been very understanding. Did they at least try to remedy the situation for the parents who had reservations?

The "privilege’ comment - nothing to do with the “current” concept of privilege (you know what I mean, but, for the sake of my mental health, I’d rather not extend), rather, in a country where many people are living in tents, we are here on a forum debating what kind of mattress topper to buy, where to travel next, where to send your kid to college…basically, first world ‘problems’. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. But perspective is everything. Please, don’t take the ‘privilege’ comment the wrong way. Let’s just say, blessed. Semantics, right?

1 Like

“A bearable social cost”. I think that sums it up. :cry:

I’m sure that many do free-lance stuff or are hired under the table (increasingly harder to do these days but it probably depends on the area). Usually when you hold a typical 9-5 you need a permanent address, proof of US citizenship (or green card), photo ID and a checking account. Many in Tent City don’t have these things so really can’t hold down regular work even if they wished to. This comment is by no means to disparage anyone; they are truly marginalized citizens and I wish they had family who could help them. When you have skills that are of use to an employer, you still need a place to live until you are back on your feet. ETA: this may vary as well by locale. My experience is specifically in the Midwest and the sanctioned communities I’ve seen, including Tent Cities, tend to include older residents, some of whom are permanently disabled. It might be different on the West Coast.

I don’t understand the focus here on those living in tents. Yes, that is a problem (perhaps as much of a drug and mental illiness problem as anything else), but the homeless in tents are not driving the violent crime in Chicago. Gangs run many areas of the south and west sides, and they are the cause of most of the violent crime. The politicians don’t have the political will to change the status quo. And the death of Max Lewis is both a tragic and seminal event. A serious top level track athlete in both high school, college and post college, I ran for the University of Chicago Track Club, which in the 70’s had Olympians on the team. After races on the University’s excellent facilities, which they graciously permitted the Club to use, we were aware of the dangers of certain areas, but the notion of being shot while on the L train? Of being carjacked driving to the track? No, not really thinkable back then. (Our fears were limited to don’t run in Washington Park after dark). I did not attend University of Chicago although it was a top academic choice for both me and my brother (they did not give athletic scholarships and I ended up going to one of the two schools in the USNWR top 10 that does give athletic scholarships). If I was looking at schools today, even with the increased financial aid to poor students, the crime would really make a difference to me. I needed freedom and space to train, and being constantly wary - and the crime today would make anyone reasonably wary - would be a significant stress. This isn’t an alarmist statement - most students at U of C will be fine if they are careful and use good sense - but U of C cannot just digest Mr. Lewis’s death as unfortunate. They must press the politicians for better enforcement, and must recognize Kim Foxx’s policies (and others) are frankly an invitation for increased violent crime all over the City. My 83 year old father lives on the Gold Coast - you can say he is a privileged guy but he started life as a poorly paid basketball and track coach at the Proviso schools (very successful at a young age) and certainly dealt with very tough kids and tough neighborhoods - I know - they used to come to our apartment when i was a little kid. He has to move now - several carjackings have occurred right out his front door, and while he still works in the loop, even the one and half mile drive to his office is an unsettling thing now for an 83 year old. And this is in the so-called best urban neighborhood in the Midwest. And the crime now is much more of a worry than when he bought his place, when Cabrini Green was a mile away! Think of the policy - driving away a still productive 83 year old taxpayer who otherwise would like to stay - he built a business with 44 offices around the globe. The externalities of crime cannot be ignored, and some tough discussions which many in a politically correct world don’t want to hear. I think Chicago’s biggest downfall began in the 80’s. I worked in a summer job for the Teamsters in the 80’s which paid my living expenses for college and helped my mother survive. Those jobs are virtually extinct in Chicago now, and they used to exist in the thousands. The loss of our industrial core has impacted families - particularly young men with limited global economy service and knowledge based economy skills. The loss of the industrial base may have been inevitable. But high taxes and economic policies which did not pay attention to these businesses did not help.


A location may have upside potential if a lot of things happen, but in my experience, no one buys something that could be currently classified as “prime real estate” cheaply.

You could say waterfront property in DUMBO or Greenpoint is “prime”, but 30 years ago with all industrial use, no transportation, no zoning to permit residential development and loads of environmental issues, not a lot of people would have agreed with you. Certainly not a lot of banks or other investors. I don’t begrudge the people who took those risks or had that vision their profit.


Here in the organized tent lots (there are 4-5 sponsored by churches), they work with them on these things. They sign them up for health care, for any benefits they may be entitled to, for bank accounts and mailboxes. There are social workers and employment counselors. Here the tent cities are set up for 6 months and the goal is to have them into more permanent housing by the end of the 6 months. There are several federal housing programs that are helping the city buy old hotels and convert the units into living places.


My post focused on the eviction of poor families from old RESIDENTIAL neighborhoods so that these could be developed. So why are you bringing up abandoned industrial areas, which you specifically mention were NOT residential areas?

I am confused.