Pembroke was the beginning. The community that inspired the founding of Family-to-Family in 2002 when it was featured in a front-page article in the New York Times, is:
- Located in Kankakee County, 70 miles south of Chicago.
- Populated by roughly 2200 residents, primarily African-American.
- Lacking a supermarket, police force, barbershop, gas station, bookstore and pharmacy and has no bus or train connections.
Many of Pembroke’s roads are unpaved, just sand or gravel, and many homes are trailers or crumbling shacks with dirt floors and no running water. Some have tires sitting on top to keep a damaged roof from flying off, and many households have no telephone service. Until a credit union opened in 2007, there were no banks or financial institutions of any kind.
According to 2016 data, in Pembroke:
- 82% of students In the Pembroke Consolidated School District are poor enough to qualify for free lunch.
- 43% of children under 18 live below the poverty level
- 42% of families have annual incomes below $25,000
Family-to-Family works with Linda Terrell, the Parent Coordinator at the Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School to serve our sponsored families in the Pembroke/St. Anne/Momence area. We partner with Meijer Stores in Bradley to provide groceries for our sponsored families.
Lorenzo R. Smith School
4120 S. Wheeler Road
Hopkins Park, IL 60944
To learn more:
- Here We Are, Chicago Magazine
- Pembroke Township: Mired in Poverty, Now Devastated by Tornadoes, No Help in Sight
- Invisible Lives
- Once Among the Poorest in the U.S., Hopkins Park Still Recovering after a Decade of Promises
- Poor Caught in the Middle
Data Sources: Population – U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2016; Poverty & Income — U.S.; U.S Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Community Facts 2016; Poverty & Income; Credit Union System; “INDEPTH,” 4th Quarter 2008; Illinois State Board of Education; Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility Data