Expand Public Housing Eligibility for Newly Released Prisoners in Chicago

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Fellow Citizens,

We would like to start off by asking a question: Once someone serves their prison sentence, they should be done, right? Their punishments should be over, right? They did their time, and now they should be able to move with their life. Well unfortunately, this is not the case. Once released from prison, many prisoners are homeless. So, many of them apply for public housing assistance. However, many people are not eligible for this public housing or are denied it due to their criminal records, thus rendering them homeless. So, does someone's punishment really end once they are released from prison? Not really. Their punishment seems to go on for the rest of their life since they have a criminal record and are not eligible for many programs and assistances that they need. This is not fair, especially for people who are imprisoned for petty crimes and misdemeanors and are then plagued and labeled with a criminal record for the rest of their lives.

This issue really stuck out to us because homelessness is a huge problem around the world, and in Chicago especially. And, past felons with criminal records being denied access to public housing is contributing to this problem of homelessness. So, we decided to do something about it. We are educating the students of Saint Ignatius on this issue by posting infographics around the school to raise awareness for this issue. Also, we are making a petition, and we will have a goal of a certain number of signatures. Once, this goal is reached, we will send this petition to the Chicago Housing Authority, as well as other departments of public housing. Hopefully, this will change their minds and cause them to revise their policies about who is eligible for public housing.