Center for Urban Research and Learning

Loyola University Chicago

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

Filtering by Category: Economic Development and Employment

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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Home Health Agency Workforce Development


CURL helped evaluate Roseland Christian Health Ministries'(RCHM) development of a Home Health Agency to complement RCHM's existing Christian Community Health Center. This program created 70 new jobs for low income residents of Cook County, Illinois while serving the heath care needs of seniors living on the south side of Chicago and its adjacent south suburbs.

Download Final Report Final Evaluation of the Christian Community Health Center Home Health Agency and Workforce Development Program

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Equitable Sustainable Community Development


This international project was an effort to document existing successful alternatives to the reinvestment and displacement cycle in communities. We developed a curriculum that can be used either by faculty and students in the university classroom or by community leaders and residents in city and suburban neighborhoods.

View Webpage  Equitable Sustainable Community Development

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Providing a Way Station: A Study to Provide Employment Services to Immigrant Women Victims of Domestic Violence


This report examines an innovative partnership designed to assist the employment needs of immigrant women who are survivors of domestic violence. This report examines the first eighteen months of the partnership in which Apna Ghar referred twelve women to The Enterprising Kitchen's (TEK) training slots. It looks at how the TEK model served the needs of both the immigrant women referred by Apna Ghar and the general TEK population, which is primarily composed of African American women. Data was gathered from interviews, focus groups, participant observations, and a review of all TEK and selected Apna Ghar case records.

Download Final Report Providing a Way Station: A Study to Provide Employment Services to Immigrant Women 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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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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Housing Discrimination and Economic Opportunity in the Chicago Region


While there have been improvements over the last thirty-five years in housing opportunities for people of color in the Chicago region, African- and Hispanic-Americans are still concentrated in neighborhoods of weak economic health. Continued racial and ethnic segregation has continuing implications for the social, political, cultural, and economic vitality of Chicago region.  This report presented to the Human Relations Foundation of Chicago demonstrates the reality of such concentrations, and analyzes why they persist.

Download Report Housing Discrimination and Economic Opportunity in the Chicago Region: A Report to the Human Relations Foundation of Chicago

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Impact of Welfare Reform

(1997, 1998, 1999)

CURL, and Policy Research Action Group (PRAG), joined in collaboration with two community-based organizations, Howard Area Community Center (HACC)and Organization of the NorthEast (ONE), to study the potential adverse impact of welfare policy changes of 1996 on different types of public benefit recipients in the Chicago neighborhoods of Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park. This collaboration was motivated by the partners' grave concerns over how low-income individuals and families would survive when faced with the termination of life-sustaining public benefits, and how the communities would cope with increased impoverishment and diminished funds. 

Research was collected through in depth interviews, focus groups, analysis of census data and observations of public meetings. These Reports were used by ONE and HACC to advocate for additional state funding for immigrants and were instrumental in successfully attaching $10 million to the Illinois state welfare budget in the late 1990’s.  

Download Report Unraveling the Safety Net: 1997 and Welfare Reform (focuses on the cuts in benefits of legal immigrants) 1997.

Download Report From Welfare to Worse?  Children, Welfare Reform, and Local Realities (focuses on early effects of welfare reform and future effects) 1998.

Download Report Cracks in the System: Conversations with People Surviving Welfare Reform (focused on TANF recipients and their barriers to employment) 1999.

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