Community Assessment: The City of Chicago

In order to live or work in a community, it is important that one know significant details about this community. While this is true for anyone who wants to be comfortable in his or her surroundings, it is especially important for the counselor. Counselors need to know a person's background, as it is often a significant detail in the problems or frustrations that a person is feeling. The following is a community assessment of Chicago, Illinois. The information shared in this paper will demonstrate the information that a counselor would want to gather if he or she would be working in this area.

Basic Characteristics

While the basic makeup of a community might seem more like information that a city planner or statistician would need to know, but this information is actually very relevant to the counselor. Indeed, "the more informed you are, the more efficiently and effectively you can use your time" (102). The city of Chicago has many communities. For instance, the Jewish community, African-American community, writer's community, and the communities of different neighborhoods are all different parts of the Chicago community. Still, most would agree that Chicagoans feel a sense of community with one another. Thus, the city itself is, indeed, one large community. Thus, it is this community about which basic facts will be shared. With a population of close to three million as of 1998, Chicago is very diverse city, made up of over a million whites and African-Americans, nearly a million Asians, and thousands of Native Americans and those of other races. Furthermore, Hundreds of thousands of Hispanics are located in the area (Some Quick Facts 2001-2008). Chicago's diverse population is a statistic of which many Chicagoans are proud. In addition to its population, Chicago is home to many institutions that celebrate diversity. For instance, many Chicago festivals celebrate different types of cultures, music, and celebrations. Museums are dedicated to different cultural heritages, and events like the Gay Pride Parade honor Chicagoans from many different backgrounds. Chicago is also a large area, covering 228.443 square miles (Some Quick Facts 2001-2008). In addition, many suburbs in both Illinois and Northwest Indiana consider themselves part of Chicago. In these area, different groups of people are able to find placess for themselves, which result in neighborhoods with different ethnic concentrations. In addition, however, Chicagoans tend to congregate together, showing that they believe in the importance of diversity. For instance, Millennium Park is one of the newest symbols of this togetherness, and it is a place where people commonly gather. Cultural centers and other places of learning and enrichment promote the attitude that Chicago is a city of progress, diversity, and pride. Recently, President Barack Obama's election allowed the people of Chicago to show how they can unite, despite diversity, for a cause.

The ability to come together is a hallmark of Chicago's demographics, and it is reflected in the makeup of the Chicago family. For instance, while there are around 18,000 divorces each year, there are almost twice as many marriages (Some Quick Facts 2001-2008). With nearly two million library users, it is easy to see that Chicago's residents want to become educated and enjoy learning. Despite this fact, however, Chicago's basic facts are not altogether positive. For instance, Chicago has only slightly more than one million occupied housing units and close to three million people. While more than one person can live in a housing unit, this can be seen as implying a problem of homelessness. Thus, the potential counselor can make many implications based on the basic facts associated with a community. This becomes very clear when one examines the community of Chicago. While the basic facts give a bare sketch of the community, someone who has been a part of that community can tell you how those lines can be given texture to tell the story of a community

Nine Domains in Which the Community Functions

In order to be successful, and provide for its inhabitants, a community must be able to function. Functioning can be explained as the requirements that must be met in…