American Radio Works a program of American Public Media introduces a radio documentary, "After the Projects: The uncertain future of public housing."
Michael Whitehead recently moved into a clean one-bedroom apartment on a wide tree-lined street in Chicago. It's in a small apartment building with a tidy lawn in a fenced backyard. Whitehead had been living for 48 years in the Wells-Madden public housing complex. Until recently, Wells-Madden occupied 94 acres on Chicago's south side. It was infested with drug dealers, but until now, it was the only place Whitehead could afford to live. Whitehead is 57 years old and a diabetic. He lives on about $300 a month in government assistance plus any money from odd jobs for friends and family.
Elena Lawson lives in Dearborn Homes, a 16-building public housing complex on Chicago's south side. Lawson's mother moved into Dearborn in 1976. When Lawson grew up, she got her own apartment in the same building. She has two teenage sons. Lawson recently got a job, and the city is fixing up the building she used to live in at Dearborn. The family is temporarily living in a rundown apartment building nearby.
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