A New Beginning for Jamaal

Jamaal, 24, became a client of the CFJC in 2004 when he was 14 years old. He remained to close to the center, working with our social worker Marjorie Moss to obtain employment as a security guard at a university. Recently, Jamaal and his family, which consists of his girlfriend, her two young girls, and the one-year-old son they have together, relocated to public housing in Hyde Park. Marjorie was able to help them secure their new, renovated apartment in a safer neighborhood.

jamaal whole family

Jamaal sometimes works up to 16-hour-long shifts on his feet patrolling the university campus. He says that he willingly takes all of the extra hours he can get to bring home more money for his family, since he is the sole breadwinner while his girlfriend is seeking employment.  Jamaal says that above all, he wants a new start for his children, and to give them a peaceful place to grow up while supporting their interests, unlike his childhood experiences on the South Side.

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Take a listen to excerpts from an interview with Jamaal while he’s on the job. Hear his thoughts on growing up on the South Side, getting tangled up in the system, and the difficulties of making a new start. 

Check out photos of Jamaal and his family as they move in new furniture, toys, and clothes to their apartment in Hyde Park. If you are interested in donating furniture, clothes, or food to individuals or families working with CFJC, please contact Marjorie Moss at m-moss@northwestern.edu.