Nathan Brown

“God has brought me through many storms, so God works. So, if you believe in God, he’ll get you through everything. God is good and I know that.”

Tanya Johnson

“Why is it so hard for people coming out of jail to find a job? They say you have to wait five years, but it’s really seven years. You go and apply, and they say you haven’t been out long enough. If you can’t get a job, how are you going to take care of yourself and your family? Something needs to be done to help ex-offenders.”

Calvin McLemore

“Basically, how the community has changed. I just got out of jail after serving 20 years. I still have three years of probation. I was 17 when I went in and the world has really changed. It wasn’t hard finding a job; I found one in about two months. It pays minimum wage, but I get 40 to 50 hours a week. My employer is OK with hiring ex-offenders. I’m a dish washer at the Cheese Cake Factory downtown, but I’m looking to doing something more with my life. I wrote a couple of plays which I hope to produce, and I’m working on a documentary.”

Rickey Quinn

“I am freelance a poet and I am looking for an investor or somebody with the means to help me get my work out here. I do poetry on T-shirts. I have a book of poetry published called Words from the Windy: Love, Peace, and Inspiration. It’s a book of poetry about my experiences; everything I’ve been through, seen, thought wouldn’t happen; things God has revealed to me.”

Leo Swan

“I’m a black carpenter. I’ve been a carpenter for 12 years now. I’m in the union, and it seems like every time I go out and look for work, they tell me there’s no work, but when I look on the sites I see a lot of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and whites working-no blacks; and I wonder why is it so hard for a young black carpenter like myself to find work out here?

Tracey Williams

“I guess what’s really got me going is the story about the guy that walked into Walgreens on 55th and Kedzie and stabbed three people this morning around 1 o’clock. This world is crazy. You have to be careful, real extra careful. That’s why I don’t want people just walking up on me because you don’t know what somebody is on. I just really think there should be more protection out here than what’s out here. I see the police doing crazy stuff like messing with people about selling water, and they should be trying to protect people from crazy people.”

Natasha Moony

“The cost of living and how ridiculous it is, especially in the black community. It seems like prices continuously go up. We can’t afford any fresh food, or any processed food these days, and the government isn’t making it any easier. The wealthy keep getting off scot-free and we have to pay for it.”