Homeless Shelters Vs. Cupcake Shops: A Chicago Map
There are two trends on the rise in Chicago recently: homelessness and cupcake shops.
Not only is the number of homeless people rising, homeless program funding is on the chopping block. According to The Atlantic Cities, homelessness programs are facing a 50 percent funding cut. In addition, according to the Chicago News Cooperative, youth homelessness over 10,000, a 16 percent increase from last year.
The cupcake industry, on the other hand, is apparently here to stay. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, CEO of Magnolia Bakery Steve Abrams said their new Loop location has “met expectations” and is looking to expand to suburban locations. Several other local cupcake shops are also expanding to include curbside pick-up and more locations.
Why are these two seemingly unrelated trends comparable? They are both due to the downturn in the economy. A small indulgence, like a cupcake, could be due to the “lipstick effect”, an economic theory that asserts people buy more small luxury items in a bad economy. According to GoBankingRates.com “people don’t want to feel deprived, so seek solace in smaller “treats.” Homeless shelters are taking a hit simply because government funding is facing cuts left and right.
And only in Chicago could a gourmet food obsessed culture coexist mere miles away from neighborhoods where options for the homeless are disappearing by the day.
In light of these new trends, below is a map that shows the geographical distribution of 18 popular cupcake shops and 18 prominent homeless shelters and interim housing locations in Chicago. Each marker also has a brief description of the services each location offers and a link to their website.
Homeless Shelters= Blue
Cupcake Shops= Pink
View Homeless Shelters Vs. Cupcake Shops in a larger map