Near South Side


      Prayer Points

  • There is a high concentration of commuter students coming in and out of Near South Side to study, due to the numerous universities represented in the area, such as Columbia College, East West University, and Harold Washington College. Pray for an effective ministry to the student population by the churches and parachurch groups.


  • School enrollment continues to increase and a long term plan is desperately needed. Expansion in the South Loop is difficult due to little property availability. Pray for improved and more schools.


  • Every day, thousands of people move through the Roosevelt CTA stop, among which include both the affluent and the poor of Chicago. Pray for peace and justice to flow through the neighborhood.

      Ethnic Breakdown

  • Asian (12.9%)
  • Black or African American (36.9%)
  • Hispanic or Latino (4.8%)
  • White (43.4%)

Neighborhood Background

The Fire of 1871 did not extend into Near South Side which, as a result, became the temporary quarters of many displaced businesses. Rapid transit was established with the construction of the Elevated Railroad in the 1890s. This was followed by apartment and hotel building and the exodus of wealthier residents.


Discrimination during the Great Migration of African Americans to Chicago confined these new residents to a narrow corridor on Chicago’s South Side referred to as the “Black Belt.” By the end of the twentieth century, most of the area’s residents lived in Chicago Housing Authority complexes.


The decline of passenger trains also left rail yards vacant. However, during the 1920s, notable redevelopment took place in the district’s edges with the construction of parks and museums. Residential growth in the South Loop also extended into the Near South Side, making areas into residential streets once again after a century.

Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city? - Jonah 4:11

information courtesy of Moody Publishers

"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig