Six months ago, hardly anyone in rapidly gentrifying Oak Park paid much attention to Alfreda and Bobby. They were just two elderly homeless people, lugging around overflowing shopping carts and bags of precious stuff, struggling to make their way in the world.
If anything, people of means tried to ignore them. That happens when you live on the streets. You become invisible – unless, of course, you’re a nuisance. Then you’re just inconvenient and a lost cause.
But Bobby and Alfreda got lucky. They met Aimee Phelps and Kevin Greenberg, two Oak Park residents who refuse to see homeless people as second-class citizens and chronic homelessness as an intractable problem that can only be solved by government, and only after politically charged squabbles over money for shelters and housing.
In the vacuum that the county and city have left behind, the neighbors created Art-through-Pod, a project to build decorative, tiny …
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