Friday, November 11, 2011


At 6’3”, Mark Lenon is an imposing presence, but it is not just his physical build that attracts attention. He is a complex young man with many artistic facets. Start with his ethnic background – a mixture of African American, white, and Native American. He is the current Graphic Design student from the Paul Simon Job Corps Center completing his Work-based Study requirement at THE VOICE Newspapers.
Adding to his cultural diversity, Mark grew up in Independence, Kansas, spent his teenage years in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then joined his brothers and sister in Chicago. His hobbies reflect his artistic interests, too. Mark enjoys writing and listening to music, being the DJ at parties, hanging with friends, and going to concerts. He plays the guitar, drums, and piano. He takes creating, performing, and producing music very seriously and believes he might even make a career of it.
“I believe anyone who has the imagination to create music that pleases other people deserves a shot at changing the music industry,” Mark observes.
Mark is also an athlete, enjoying gymnastics, skateboarding, long-boarding, and Parkour. He likes eating seafood and his favorite colors are black, gray, and purple.
Mark spent most of his time in his early years with his grandparents and his mother. They lived in a very small town and there were not a lot of people from outside the state living there. His middle school was a couple of blocks away, so he walked to school. “Walking is very natural for me and I’d walk everywhere if I could.”
Mark says he never had any problem making friends and getting along with everyone, so he’s always had a large circle of friends. In school, he played drums and percussion in the marching band through his sophomore year in high school.
Mark has been attending the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center for 15 months. He says he joined the Job Corps to get his life together and build a future doing something he loves. So, he is studying Graphic Design. He says his most important consideration was to obtain a GED so he can go to college and study Photography, Film, or Journalism, and then get a job.
He says he likes the fact that he can go directly to college from the Job Corps or enter the job market ready to work. “Job Corps helps you with finding a job and searching for a career position just for you. You are in control of your own destiny and you have what it takes to take matters into your own hands,” Mark explains.
After the Job Corps, Mark says he expects to have a job in film or photography that is financially and spiritually fulfilling. He plans to have an apartment or condo so he can be living independently.
What are two of Mark’s biggest dreams? To go on tour with a DJ, band, or group that he listens to. He also wants to write a book and get it published.
Currently, Mark is completing his Work-based Study requirement to graduate from the Job Corps. He is using what he has learned in class to lay out and design THE VOICE Newspapers each week. Just another step on his road to success!


On October 28, West Side civic leaders, local residents, and officials of Habilitative Systems, Inc., cut the ribbon officially opening the Enola A. Dew Apartments for Senior Living, a $10 million, 60-unit complex funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and the City of Chicago Department of Housing, located at 4623 West Gladys Street. The 55,995 square foot building has a green roof and each 1-bedroom apartment is air conditioned and fully accessible for people with disabilities. This is the third senior/disability housing complex owned and managed by Habilitative Systems, Inc.
The new residential facility is named for the mother of Donald Dew, President & CEO of Habilitative Systems, Inc. Enola A. Dew was a health educator and community organizer on Chicago’s West Side for many years. Dew said of his mother, “She was one of the best strategic planners I’ve ever seen. She came to Chicago from Louisiana in search of a better life. She found it and wanted to make sure that others enjoyed the same inspiration and support she was able to provide her family,” he explained.
Mrs. Dew, who died several years ago, worked with Congressman Danny K. Davis in the 1970s to bring health and wellness programs to the West Side. Congressman Davis said, “Mrs. Dew was a tireless advocate for the disenfranchised. She didn’t believe people should suffer or be left behind due to their circumstances.”
For information on rental opportunities at the Enola A. Dew Apartments or regarding HSI programs, call 773/261-2252.


Approximately 12 residents and their family members are being ordered out of what they say is a substandard building at the northeast corner of North Avenue and Austin Boulevard. They say they all suddenly received eviction orders despite being on annual or month-to-month leases and having rents paid up to date.
They charge the rental agency for the building – Pangea Realty – refuses to accept rent payments from tenants, but offered some of them $400 cash if they vacated their apartments in three days.
Tenants say Pangea has been harassing them by changing locks on the building’s entry door, turning off heat and hot water in the building, and refusing to correct code violations, such as exterminating rodents, repairing plumbing and electricity, repairing holes in walls, etc.
The residents are being represented by attorneys from Lawyers Committee for Better Housing. Businesses in the building’s storefronts are also being evicted, except allegedly the corner grocery store that 25th district police and CAPS label “a chronic problem and gathering place for troublemakers.”


Tickets are on sale now for the all-new surge of circus electricity from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Fully Charged opens November 3 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, running through November 13.
Megawatts of thrills explode as THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH continues its Chicago performances November 16-27 at Chicago’s United Center.
Fueled by excitement-boosting performance power, Fully Charged is filled with amazing acts, including Talayara, a dynamic animal trainer whose rare ability to communicate with animals allows him to stand eye-to-eye with a dozen ferocious tigers, ride rearing stallions at a fully-charged gallop, and orchestrate majestic 4-ton Asian elephants in a symphony of dance.
Other highlights include the strongman duo of Dmitry & Ruslan and the fearless Fernandez Brothers, who attempt a 360-degree flying forward somersault atop spinning 3-story-high steel wheels, a feat so difficult it has only been attempted by one other person in the 141-year history of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
In a fitting finale to this super-charged spectacle, The Human Fuse, Brian Miser, sets the arena sky ablaze as he rockets through the air from his self-made human crossbow, traveling 110 feet at 65 miles per hour.
Audiences are encouraged to come an hour before show time to the All Access Pre-show – FREE to all ticket holders – and meet the world’s greatest performers and animals, learn some circus skills, and work to become CircusFit, all before the show even starts!
Fully Charged provides hours of thrilling entertainment that is fun for the whole family for about the price of a movie ticket. A great value in family entertainment, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is Ticketmaster’s Number One most purchased family event. Tickets starting at $13 are available through Ticketmaster and the Allstate Arena and United Center Box Offices, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting

Violence Prevention Initiative Awarded to the West Garfield Park Community
In July 2011, Fathers Who Care was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority to provide violence prevention programs and activities for youth between the ages of 10 to 24 years of age. The mission of the program is to nurture youth growth and development by cultivating youth organizing, leadership development and advocacy amongst our youth to help combat youth violence their volatile behaviors. Fathers Who Care will provide direct service response initiatives or medium to high risk youth living within the West Garfield Park community.
Through IVPA’s Safety Net Works program Fathers Who Care along with other West Garfield Park community partners and sub-contractors will provide a variety of youth activities, services and programs that include youth mentoring, after-school and recreational programs, youth life-skills development, tutoring, computer literacy, substance abuse and mental health counseling as well as case management services. Fathers Who Care serves as the lead agency for this violence prevention initiative with sub-contracting partners that include; Habilitative Systems Inc., I AM ABLE, Saving Our Sons and United for Better Living.
The West Garfield Park Safety Net Works Coalition also has a youth council designed to give youth the opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns and comments regarding violence within their community and ways they can work together to promote non-violence through a positive and interactive youth council. West Garfield Park Safety Net Works is seeking young people between the ages of 14 to 24 to serve on its youth council.
For more information, to volunteer or participate in our violence preventions initiatives in the West Garfield Park community, please contact Ms. Dionne Blackwell, Project Coordinator at 773-287-5821.