Latrice Houston moved to her home on Chicago’s Southwest side, after the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) announced that LeClaire Courts, Latrice’s home for more than 18 years, would be torn down. But Houston had made up her mind to leave the neighborhood before CHA made its announcement.
“I liked my neighbors and my mother lived four doors down, but I made up my mind that when my daughter reached 8th grade, we were going to move,” Houston said. “The schools were bad, and there was too much violence. My kids couldn’t go outside and play, couldn’t go to their friends house after school. Couldn’t even go to the store.”
Houston admits it wasn’t easy to break ties and move to a new neighborhood. “I was scared. My mom had always been right next door, I didn’t know if I could handle my bills. I had never packed my things before.”
With only 90 days to move, Houston looked at 15-20 places before someone at her church helped her find her present home on Chicago’s southwest side.
As the only African American on living on her block, Latrice thought her new neighbors might reject her. But they surprised her. “They never looked at me like that,” Latrice said. “They made me feel welcome. They hold block parties where they sit down and talk to you and eat with you.”
Houston’s house sits on a quiet, tidy street of single family homes. It has white picket fence around it and a garage, wood floors in the bedrooms and modern appliances in the kitchen. There’s a room for her mother when she stays over, a quiet place with a computer where her kids can do their homework. And, for the first time, her 10 year old son, Kendall and her 16-year-old Kalia have their own rooms.