Below is a picture of the neighborhood where I used to live while working in Chicago, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Areas like this, throughout all of Chicagoland, are known for a high police presence. This particular area looks out over Lake Michigan, as did my apartment room. You can live well in Chicago, if you got the money. The street right behind these apartments is Astor St., which I believe is known as being the wealthiest street in America.
However, if you do not have the money, then you have got a problem. Chicago was once an industrialized city, part of the Rust Belt: steel, oil, meat packing, automobiles, food processing. It is pretty much all gone now. As a chemical engineer, I see no reason that I would ever work there again because there is no industry anymore. Just service jobs like hotels, stock market, financial services, tourism, insurance, and publishing.
Chicago was known for huge public housing “high rises”, like Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor Homes. Blue collar jobs are great because they give ordinary people a way to make a good living with minimal education. Those jobs are long gone. The crime in Chicago might be related to the fact that so many people are on welfare since all the good blue collar jobs are no longer available. They just have too much time on their hands and no resources. By the way, Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor Homes were demolished but that does not mean that the homeless were eliminated. They were simply reshuffled back into society very quietly.
At one time, the Archbishop’s residence and the Playboy Mansion were both located in the Gold Coast. Yet, about a mile away was Cabrini Green. Only an elevated subway line separated the two neighborhoods. Chicago is a place of high economic disparity. I used to be an adjunct professor at many colleges and universities in the area. The people work hard, but they have very limited opportunities.
Take a look at these crime stats.