SWOP organizes predominately in five Chicago community areas: Chicago Lawn, Gage Park, West Elsdon, West Lawn, and Ashburn. In total, SWOP neighborhoods are 62% Latino, 27% African American and 10% White.
The median income in our community varies considerably: Chicago Lawn $33,000, Gage Park $37,000, West Elsdon $46,000, West Lawn $47,000, and Ashburn $67,000. The schools SWOP works in report a poverty rate of at least 80%. This percentage represents the number of students eligible for free lunch, which is based on the USDA calculation of 130% of the poverty level or $26,400 for a family of four.
The community area of Chicago Lawn, in which a majority of our member institution are located, has an unemployment rate of 19.6%. Only 63% of the population over the age of 25 in Chicago Lawn have a high school diploma or equivalent, while 11% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
SWOP’s target area currently covers sections of the 13th (Alderman Quinn), 14th (Alderman Burke), 15th (Alderman Lopez); 16th (Alderman Foulkes), 17th (Alderman Moore) 18th (Alderman Curtis) and 23rd wards (Alderman Zalewski); IL Senate districts 1 (A Muñoz) 3 (M. Hunter), 11 (M Sandoval), and 16 (J Collins), and the corresponding IL House districts, 1 (D Burke) 6 (S Harper), 22 (M Madigan), 31 (M Flowers), 32 (A Thapedi), and US Congressional 1st (Rush), 3rd (Lipinski), 4th (Gutierrez) and 7th Districts (Davis).