Trapped in Chicago: Woman hopes to escape city violence

FOX 32 NEWS - Packing up all you have and leaving all you know isn't as easy as one might think.

FOX 32's Anita Padilla says being trapped in places like Englewood is like suffocating a little more each day.

When you live in some parts of Chicago - fear, anxiety, worry, despair and violence - is an everyday thing.

"The people who are doing it are so lost, they don't care that they are smothering children, mothers, and elderly...they just shoot!" said Tanzania Maxie.

Maxie is a mom of two young boys. She wants for them what any caring parent does - a future.

"Just to be sitting on our porch and play in a backyard would be such a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders," Maxie said.

Her brother was shot and killed 10 years ago, and another brother was recently shot in the head but survived. She doesn't want a life of violence for her children. She wants to leave, but Maxie says she is trapped.

"If I have to leave to not be caught in the crossfire, to not have my children hurt…than that's what it has to be," Maxie said.

She doesn't have section eight housing, she pays market rent, she works, she volunteers, she prays, and yet she still lives in terror.

How many of you remember your childhood and playing in the park? Instead of playing dodgeball, Chicago kids are dodging bullets.

"It used to used to be between gangs...they don't respect seniors, they don't respect children," Maxie said.

Esmeralda Soto lived in Stickney and when the spillover violence from Chicago became too much, she escaped. But it cost her a home, job, and all she ever knew.

"I saw the fear in their killed me. I said I don't care about the house, do what we have to do. We lost it all," Soto said.

She lives by a park in the western suburbs. Her rent is more than she can afford. Her apartment is cramped, but at least they are free of the fear.

"When I see us crowded in and packed in...we're safe, I don't have to worry about anything," Soto said.

Mayor Emanuel is trying to address the violence by adding more police, pushing mentorship programs and bringing big businesses and jobs to areas that need it most.