Hope from the Front Lines

Hope from the Front Lines

Hope from the Front Lines peeks beyond the headlines finding stories of struggle, passion, and strength from essential caregivers of color doing the heavy lift - protecting Chicago’s most vulnerable during this COVID-19 pandemic. The series is produced by Juneteenth Productions with funding support from the McCormick Foundation.... Show More

Episodes

September 23, 2020 14 min

Lakesia Collins is a CNA determined to change the narrative. Working multiple caregiving jobs while raising kids, she had to file bankruptcy because her nursing home paid her poverty wages. Becoming a union organizer empowered her to run for state representative of Illinois’ 9th District. Her plan is not just to get bills passed but to organize her district around the issues that she understands firsthand - housing, lifting the ban...

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Loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety and other mental health crises have infiltrated nursing homes long before the March lockdown and peak of COVID-19 in Illinois, but the pandemic has only heightened those feelings among staff and residents. While the pandemic has been hard overall, the strict parameters limiting social activities, interactions and the disruption of normal routines pose the risk of a mental health pandemic t...

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Demand for affordable child care has historically been high, with COVID-19 exacerbating the already unsteady system. For parents to get back to work, they need secure and affordable child care, but some providers aren’t ready to reopen yet. Others don’t have the space. The effects of COVID-19 are exposing the structural challenges child care providers like Maria Del Carmen Macias and Araida Palacios have dealt with long before the ...

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With COVID-19 related hospitalizations increasing and many hospitals allowing visitation to resume, hospital workers worry about their protection from contracting the virus. In this episode, hospital workers Bernita Drayton and Caprice Nevils discuss the need for greater safety protocols as their exposure to the virus increases.

Reporter Kortni Smyers-Jones recently graduated from DePaul University with a master’s degree in journali...

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Nearly six months into the pandemic, hospitals across the U.S. still struggle to keep up with rising admissions of COVID-19 patients. While Chicagoland has yet to see a flattening of the curve, some hospitals have resumed elective surgeries and admitting visitors. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, located in the city’s center, was one of the first to do both and received a large CARES Act grant to keep its operations going. But littl...

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Take a look at how communication between nursing home management and their staff and residents is vital to treating and preventing the spread of the Covid-19. In this episode we look at two Chicago facilities taking very different approaches to protecting their staff and residents during the pandemic. Bridgeview Healthcare Center neglected to test residents showing symptoms of Coronavirus, leaving uninformed staff members at risk o...

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In group homes for developmentally disabled adults, the contraction of COVID-19 happens faster, and deadlier than any other population. Not only are these numbers under-researched, but also underreported. In this episode, one home care giver uses her investigative instincts to keep residents in a group home in the southwest suburbs of Chicago healthy, safe and alive - against the odds.

Reporter Ariel Mejia (she/her) is a Chicago nat...

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Demand for affordable child care has historically been high, with COVID-19 exacerbating the already unsteady system. For parents to get back to work, they need secure and affordable child care, but some providers aren’t ready to reopen yet. Others don’t have the space. The effects of COVID-19 are exposing the structural challenges child care providers like Maria Del Carmen Macias and Araida Palacios have dealt with long before the ...

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La industria del cuidado de la salud en el hogar está creciendo rápidamente, con un valor de más de $30B USD. La industria ya lucha con prácticas laborales justas, pero COVID-19 golpeó y expuso esas debilidades. 

Marisol García ha estado trabajando con la misma empresa de cuidado en el hogar desde 2003 y contrajo COVID-19 mientras trabajaba. La obligaron a estar en cuarentena durante un mes y aún no ha recibido el pago por el tiempo...

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July 22, 2020 23 min

The home health care industry is growing fast, poised to be worth over $30B. The industry already struggles with fair labor practices, but COVID-19 hit and exposed those weaknesses. 

Marisol Garcia has been working with the same in-home care company since 2003 and contracted COVID-19 while at work. She was forced to quarantine for a month, and has yet to receive pay for the lost time.

Reporter Aiden Kent is a seeker, storyteller and ...

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Hope from the Front Lines peaks behind the COVID-19 headlines to reveal the voices and day-to-day challenges of essential health caregivers and staff who support Chicagolands’ most-at-risk during the pandemic: the ill, seniors, people with disabilities and children. Predominantly Black and LatinX, they work long hours for little pay and even less recognition. Their stories of resilience, perseverance and commitment to those they ca...

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