Violence spike of 2020 widened familiar safety gap between Chicago neighborhoods
Robert Solomon, 25, cleans a stove in a home that will house him and other young men, ages 18-30, in the MAFFA Redemption Project in Chicago's West Garfield Park on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. - Jose M. Osorio/TNS

CHICAGO — The senior citizen leaned against a wrought-iron fence, a tall umbrella in one hand as he gazed down the street. Across the manicured lawns and leafy trees on Douglas Boulevard, a crowd had gathered at the mouth of an alley near familiar yellow crime scene tape. North Lawndale had just been struck by two mass shootings a block or so apart. The man, who did not want to be named fearing his own safety, grew up all over the West Side, got involved in the “street life” at times and also lost a son to gun violence, he said. But the scene that evening in July, he said, was something else. ...