Center for Urban Research and Learning

Loyola University Chicago

Here you will find all of CURL's research projects and publications. 

Transcending Boundaries: Investigating Domestic Violence among South Asian Immigrant Women (Apna Ghar Project)


The Sara Lee Foundation funded a collaborative project between Apna Ghar Inc. and CURL to investigate effective models of service and outreach that are used to address the needs of domestic violence survivors within the context of South Asian immigrant culture and circumstance; the current status of policies and laws impacting immigrant women who access social services; and the incidence and the trends of domestic violence in Metropolitan Chicago, particularly with respect to the South Asian population.

Download Research Brief 

Download Insert 1 

Download Insert 2 

Download Final Report Hardly a Leg to Stand On: The Civil and Social Rights of Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence

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Collaborative Evaluation of The STRIVE Career Path Project


STRIVE (Support and Training Result in Valuable Employees) Chicago Employment Service, Inc., and the CURL collaborated on a participatory evaluation of STRIVE’s Career Path Project (CPP). STRIVE is a non-profit organization with a mission to help chronically unemployed, low-income adults enter the workforce and develop stable work histories.

The evaluation team used two methods to collect data. First they randomly selected 127 case files to review. Second, they conducted in-depth phone interviews with 30 clients who were randomly selected among the 127 clients whose case files we had reviewed.

Download Final Report A Report on the Collaborative Evaluation of The STRIVE Career Path Project

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Young Women's Action Team


CURL conducted an evaluation of Girl Leadership U (GLU), a series of six sessions hosted by Young Women’s Action Team (YWAT) in which emerging young women leaders develop skills that can be utilized in efforts to take action and create social change. The evaluation included a participant survey that examines: leadership development; advocacy; community organizing; self-awareness; ability to think critically; and connecting with other young emerging leaders to form allies for social change. The evaluation included an analysis of participants’ motivation to participate in GLU as well as the participants’ and session speakers’ perceptions of the program. The evaluation results were used to inform future YWAT programming. 

Download Final Report Rogers Park Young Women's Action Team: Executive Summary Final Report

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Who Is Listening to Local Communities? Connections between Chicago Region Community-Based Organizations and Regional, State, and National Policy Initiatives


This report focuses on the role that community-level organizations have had, currently have, and could have in setting regional agendas. Data for the report come from a representative sample of 49 community-based organizations in the City of Chicago, the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Will, and Lake, as well as the Indiana counties of Lake and Porter. We also completed eight case studies of regional initiatives to examine the different ways in which community-based organizations connect with regional and statewide issues. Research was guided by a working group comprised of university-based researchers, community-based organization leaders, and regional group representatives.

Download Final Report Who Is Listening to Local Communities?  Connections between Chicago Region Community-Based Organizations and Regional, State, and National Policy Initiatives 

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United Power for Action and Justice: Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness Reports - Policy Brief


With funding from Department of Health and Human Services secured by United Power for Action and JusticeCURL partnered withUnited Power for  Chicago Health Outreach,Deborah’s Place and Lakefront SRO to evaluate their systems integration demonstration project. The overall goal of the demonstration project was to break the cycle of homelessness by providing services in a coordinated fashion.  

Download Policy Report Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness Demonstration Project - Policy Report

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The Uptown Housing and Land Use Study


In collaboration with Organization of the NorthEast (ONE) CURL set out to compile a thorough account of changes within the community and how those changes were affecting their respective constituents. The report is organized into three broad sections. First, a brief history of Uptown is provided to give readers a context for the setting of the study. Second, changes are examined that occurred in key demographic, housing and land use variables between 1990 and 2000. Finally, a variety of maps, graphs, and tables, to be found in the appendix, are used in presenting a more detailed picture of the community area.

Download Final Report The Uptown Housing and Land Use Study

Download Executive Summary

Download Charts and Maps

Download Web Exclusive Content

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The Southwest Foreclosure Project


CURL worked with the Southwest Organizing Project (and their membership organizations), Neighborhood Housing Services(Chicago Lawn/Gage Park) and the Greater Southwest Development Corporation and examined the causes, effects, and potential solutions of home mortgage foreclosures in the Chicago Lawn and Gage Park neighborhoods. This project sought to identify where in these community areas foreclosures are most prevalent, and to determine what characteristics of these parts of the neighborhood (usually census tracts) make them more likely to experience high foreclosures. 

Download Final Report The Southwest Foreclosure Project

Download Profile Book Gage Park Chicago Lawn Community Census Tract Profiles

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The Impact of an Urban Wal-Mart Store on Area Businesses: An Evaluation of One Chicago Neighborhood’s Experience


This study, conducted by CURL and University of Illinois Chicago, focuses on the Wal-Mart store that opened on the West Side of Chicago in September 2006.  The research team conducted a series of three surveys of retail businesses in an area within a four-mile radius of the Wal-Mart location at 4650 W. North Ave, Chicago IL 60639.  The surveys were administered in the summers of 2006 (before the Wal-Mart opening), 2007 and 2008.  The basic sample follows 306 enterprises 82 of which went out of business over the study period.  

In addition to surveying area businesses, the group also assessed other sources of data, including sales tax data from the Illinois Department of Revenue and employment data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Download Final Report The Impact of an Urban Wal-Mart Store on Area Businesses: An Evaluation of One Chicago Neighborhood’s Experience

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The Emergence of Stable Racially and Ethnically Diverse Urban Communities: A Case Study of Neighborhoods in Nine U.S. Cities


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development worked with the Policy Research Action Group (PRAG) to study the factors central to creating and sustaining viable, inclusive, diverse, stable urban neighborhoods. In each of nine cities presented here: Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown, and Chicago Lawn (Chicago); West Mt. Airy (Philadelphia); Vollintine-Evergreen (Memphis); Park Hill (Denver); Sherman Park (Milwaukee); Jackson Heights, Fort Greene (New York City); Southeast Seattle (Seattle); San Antonio and Fruitvale (Oakland, California); Houston Heights (Houston).

PRAG coordinated a team of researchers and local community-based partners to: interview residents, business people, and community leaders; review key documents; and otherwise assess the basis for diversity and stability within these special neighborhoods. Each team also drew on prior studies and census analyses.

View Journal Issue Racially and Ethnically Diverse Urban Neighborhoods

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Supplemental Security Income - An Underused Resource For Disabled TANF Recipients in Illinois


This paper reviews the literature that assesses the incidence of severe impairments among parents and children receiving AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and projects that analysis to estimate the number of persons eligible for, but not receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) in the Illinois TANF case load. The paper also reviews 1999 levels of investment in screening for eligibility and pursuing SSI benefits for TANF recipients, and articulates a rationale for further investment. A report was published in the Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, Nov.-Dec. 1999.

Downlaod Article The Earned Income Tax Credit: Eligible Families at Risk of Losing Benefits

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