Earlier News Coverage

Democratic lawmakers in Springfield have introduced legislation that would get rid of the lower minimum wage for the state’s tipped workers. Shriver Center President and CEO Audra Wilson explains how the Illinois law would help tipped workers and not overburden small business owners.

WTTW's Brandis Friedman talks to Audra Wilson, president and CEO of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, about the 60th anniversary of the War on Poverty and the purpose of the 2024 Poverty Summit.

Audra Wilson, president and CEO of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and a member of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, said food insecurity and poverty go hand in hand. “A lot of people don’t acknowledge that hunger is a crisis in the United States because we don’t think of it in the same way as we think of other countries,” Wilson said.

Application fees. Credit check fees. Move-in fees. Move-out fees. Even fees to be able to use a maintenance hotline. These days, such fees are pushing the true cost of renting an apartment in Chicago far above the listed price for rent.

“It’s really good to see how expediently that moved,” said Eric Sirota, an attorney for the Ellis Lakeview Tenants Association. “Now, it’s really a matter of the new judge familiarizing themselves with the case and the receivership motion. We’re hopeful that will happen quickly.”

Fighting Poverty in Chicago, as poverty in US soars

Federal aid programs established during the pandemic ended at the same time inflation ran rampant. As a result, many more Americans ended up below the poverty line in 2022.

Wendy Pollack, the director of the Women’s Law and Policy Initiative at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, stressed that the bill’s intent isn’t to make tips go away.

Shriver Center on Poverty Law President and CEO Audra Wilson is sounding the alarm about recent U.S. Census Bureau data that finds black Chicago area residents now face poverty rates at least three times higher than white residents across the city.

Most of the nearly 4 million low-income Americans who lost their Medicaid insurance coverage within the last few months were dropped because of bureaucracy — not because they don’t qualify.

More than 47,000 people in Illinois have lost their Medicaid coverage after a pandemic-era extension on their eligibility ended last week.

Guaranteed Income gets new life

Cities around the country are using federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to implement pilot universal basic income (UBI) and guaranteed basic income (GBI) programs.

More than 47,000 Illinois residents have been kicked off their Medicaid insurance plans as of Aug. 1 – that’s nearly a quarter of the population that was up for renewal starting May 1. According to data from the state department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), most of them were dropped because they didn’t submit their eligibility information on time.

To receive the latest news and information from the Shriver Center