Job fair held for families affected by Cairo housing crisis

CAIRO, IL – A new beginning: That’s what people are hoping for as they continue to move out of the Elmwood and McBride HUD housing complexes in Cairo, Illinois. That comes after it was announced that the housing complexes would be demolished because of poor living conditions.

The Alexander County Housing Authority helped them find new jobs Tuesday through a job and resource fair.

Kiana Houston is eager to find work, even if that means leaving her community.

“There aren’t any particularly good jobs here, especially Cairo,”  said Houston.

With a large segment of the population moving to other areas because of the housing crisis, many are trying to find work and opportunities outside of the community.

“We realize that if we give people hope for moving, we give them hope with opportunity as well,” said the Cairo Initiative Mobility Manager Warren Riley.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti attended the career fair to inspire people to keep looking for better opportunities.

“If we have more events like this, so that people who are losing hope can come and find out that, indeed, at different levels, there are opportunities,” said Sanguinetti.

At the job fair, there were resources and jobs available locally, but also from surrounding communities, so people looking for opportunities elsewhere knew what was available.

“I want to see people from Cairo move forward in life. I want to see them grow. If they feel like they’re not able to stay here there are plenty of other jobs in other areas,”  said Houston.

Houston hopes the job fair will be a regular event.

The Alexander County Housing Authority Executive Director said half of the people who lived in the Elmwood and McBride Housing complexes have moved out, and there is still no set date for when those remaining there will have to leave.

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