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Old 05-20-2018, 08:52 AM
 
5 posts, read 58,075 times
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Hello - my husband & I currently live in Park Forest, IL and we’re considering a move to NWI. Mainly for the low taxes, low crime and balanced State budget. Being so close we are in Dyer, schererville and St John a lot. Recently we were fortunate enough to use a glass business in Cedar Lake who provided excellent service without gouging us on cost.

We are a mixed race couple (my husband is Black & I am bi-racial) - so how welcome would we be if we moved to NWI? Please give honest responses. I don’t deny that everyone no matter how nice & kind they might be still have some prejudices. We are excellent home owners, we maintain our property, don’t cause commotion or noise for our neighbors, keep our dog on leash & pick up his poop, like open spaces, quiet neighborhoods, and well-behaved children. We believe in live & let live but would not hesitate to help a neighbor in need and we value close relationships with many of our neighbors.

So Indiana - let me hear your opinions.. Thanks much, Stacy
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
6,477 posts, read 5,508,833 times
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The honest answer is that you will not be welcome by most, but let me try to explain. The areas you mention are predominantly white and are "White Flight" landing zones. For the past 50+ years, we've witnessed the following pattern playout. Black people begin moving into a predominantly white neighborhood. School ratings and property values begin to decline, crime increase and white people begin to move out. This cycle continues until the once white community becomes predominantly black. This has happened to most of the area south of Chicago and the end result has not been good. Although we shouldn't stereotype and your family may be outstanding citizens, you have to understand that after seeing this same scenario play out over and over, white people have been conditioned to expect the same end result.

If you were to move in, neighbors will probably take some time to judge you so given the qualities you seem to exhibit, maybe you could begin to reverse the trend of White Flight. IMO, it will be an uphill battle, but maybe you can begin changing perceptions.

It may not be what you wanted to hear, but it's an honest answer. Wish you the best.

Last edited by flamadiddle; 05-20-2018 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Edmonds, WA
8,902 posts, read 9,068,836 times
Reputation: 13901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter Baby View Post
Hello - my husband & I currently live in Park Forest, IL and we’re considering a move to NWI. Mainly for the low taxes, low crime and balanced State budget. Being so close we are in Dyer, schererville and St John a lot. Recently we were fortunate enough to use a glass business in Cedar Lake who provided excellent service without gouging us on cost.

We are a mixed race couple (my husband is Black & I am bi-racial) - so how welcome would we be if we moved to NWI? Please give honest responses. I don’t deny that everyone no matter how nice & kind they might be still have some prejudices. We are excellent home owners, we maintain our property, don’t cause commotion or noise for our neighbors, keep our dog on leash & pick up his poop, like open spaces, quiet neighborhoods, and well-behaved children. We believe in live & let live but would not hesitate to help a neighbor in need and we value close relationships with many of our neighbors.

So Indiana - let me hear your opinions.. Thanks much, Stacy
I think you will be okay. I can’t say you won’t experience racism, especially micro aggressions, but NWI has definitely progressed I think. I grew up in Valpo which was lily white 20-30 years ago. It’s still very white but there is a much larger minority population.

I spent a week back home last month and definitely saw a lot more diversity. I was at a wine bar in Valpo with my parents and there were white people out for drinks with black, Asian and Hispanic people and everyone was socializing together. It felt really good to see that in my home town. We chatted with a black woman and her white husband for quite a while. She was from Michigan and he was a Valpo native. She seemed to be really happy living there.

Of course, this is just my personal observational anecdote so take it as you will. Also, with Valpo being a university town the dynamics are a bit different, as you have people from all over. I’m not saying things are all rainbows and unicorns but what I witnessed when I was last back home was not really something you would have seen 15-20 years ago in Valpo. I imagine that larger NWI towns will be a better bet. I also think that unfortunately, the lower socioeconomic classes are going to see more discrimination. But for a middle/upper middle class couple and homeowners, I think it would be fine.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
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I think flamaddidle's response was dead on! The towns you mentioned are predominantly white. As far as the number of "blacks" and acceptance would as follows (most to least).


Schererville
Dyer
St. John
Cedar Lake


I live in St. John and have a few black families that have recently moved into our subdivision. I have no issues as my sister in-law is black and I just wasn't raised to see color, but to see someone for who that actual are. HOWEVER, I'm not going to lie......I have a few neighbors who are quite mad about it and even have considered moving! These families who moved in keep their yards looking great and are very nice, but the neighbors that are racist will smile and then talk behind their backs and won't let their kids play with theirs. St. John (as of the last census as shown on the links below) only has 119 blacks total. The most populated area of minorities would be Schererville.


The least populated would be Cedar Lake with only 37 total blacks as of the last census in 2016. I also have a friend that lives there and she has said that they are really not accepting of blacks. I would also caution that Cedar Lake goes to Hanover Schools and the high school only has about 600 kids (last I checked) which could cause additional problems in regards to race. Children from Dyer, St. John and Schererville go to Lake Central H.S. which is much larger and much more diverse (about 3400 kids) .


As far as the area as a whole, there is still a lot of "white flight" happening as more and more white people are moving here from the South Chicago suburbs from places such as Homewood, Lansing and South Holland. They will not be as accepting as someone who has always lived here. In regards to safety I really don't think you have to worry about anything. Unfortunately racism still exists to some degree, but I would not let it deter you from moving.

The following links show the race statistics for the towns you mentioned.

//www.city-data.com/city/Schererville-Indiana.html


//www.city-data.com/city/Dyer-Indiana.html


//www.city-data.com/city/St.-John-Indiana.html


//www.city-data.com/city/Cedar-Lake-Indiana.html
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Schererville, IN
143 posts, read 190,426 times
Reputation: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
I think you will be okay. I can’t say you won’t experience racism, especially micro aggressions, but NWI has definitely progressed I think. I grew up in Valpo which was lily white 20-30 years ago. It’s still very white but there is a much larger minority population.

I spent a week back home last month and definitely saw a lot more diversity. I was at a wine bar in Valpo with my parents and there were white people out for drinks with black, Asian and Hispanic people and everyone was socializing together. It felt really good to see that in my home town. We chatted with a black woman and her white husband for quite a while. She was from Michigan and he was a Valpo native. She seemed to be really happy living there.

Of course, this is just my personal observational anecdote so take it as you will. Also, with Valpo being a university town the dynamics are a bit different, as you have people from all over. I’m not saying things are all rainbows and unicorns but what I witnessed when I was last back home was not really something you would have seen 15-20 years ago in Valpo. I imagine that larger NWI towns will be a better bet. I also think that unfortunately, the lower socioeconomic classes are going to see more discrimination. But for a middle/upper middle class couple and homeowners, I think it would be fine.
I definitely agree with this. Of course you may still experience some amounts of racism, but I'd say overall you would be fine. My neighborhood in the far eastern side of Schererville actually probably has almost as many black families as white ones, and I don't have any problems with that. All the yards are nicely upkept and everyone seems to get along fine. I might suggest moving to east Schererville or northwest Dyer because these areas already have some diversity and therefore are more likely to be accepting than other areas. But as long as you're good neighbors, I think you would be fine living almost anywhere in NWI.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:30 PM
 
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These are all very good and honest answers above. I will chime in as well since I've lived in the area over 20 years (grew up here) and am Black...

We moved from the south suburbs to NWI in the mid-90s which was the height of most white flight from the south suburbs. In Munster, I would say that relations were okay mainly because the population was more educated overall in most of the town. We also lived in a brand new development so most of the White families that moved in moved after us. In most of NWI, Black families in the nicest AND newest developments usually have the least problems. The most problems I have heard have been regarding families who moved into older developments that had not turned over in 30+ years or new housing developments that are more affordable (relative to other developments in the area).

In the tai-city (Schererville, Dyer, St. John) area, Schererville is definitely the most diverse and is mostly in the eastern side of town (closer to Merrillville border) and the subdivisions there are well-to-do...so it isn't like the more diverse areas are the "poor side of town". The other diverse area is actually unincorporated Crown Point (south of 30 off Burr) in the Pine Island area. The apartments there are diverse as well as the subdivision becoming more diverse. It is zoned within the Lake Central School district as well.

In Dyer, the most diverse area seems to be the Hearthstone and Village Circle/Village Circle West development. There are sizable, White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic families in that area and it is a decent area too. Briar Ridge Country Club (which spans Dyer and Schererville) also is pretty diverse and growing up, many families were known to send the kids to Munster schools (when they accepted tuition students) or to private high schools in Chicago as they were more highly regarded than Lake Central and more tolerable of racial/ethnic differences. Lake Central's reputation has improved over the years though and has become more diverse.

Cedar Lake itself is pretty lily white and likely will be for the foreseeable future; however, the area of St. John in Hanover Township (specifically west of Wicker Blvd) seems to have a noticeable amount of Black families although most seem to be empty nester/retiree.

Another area to consider is Crown Point. Now, CP also has not had the best history when it comes to race relations as it was a white flight destination for people from Merrillville whom fled from Gary back in the 70s. There is a lot of growth and action going on in Crown Point and while the schools are predominantly White, they are becoming more diverse. The area of CP north of 101st Ave and east of Clark is in the Merrillville school district which is predominantly Black and is the one suburban district in the region that has had to deal with the type of White flight that the south suburbs have dealt with. Because of this, the northern part of CP (which has a mix of older and newer homes) is getting somewhat of a bad reputation as it is becoming more Black and less White and this is causing a flight of residents from north CP to south CP and some moving even further south to Lowell.

One thing I have commented on before on this site is that folks are running in the wrong direction to stay away from "diversity" unless they want to keep running. There are some folks that honestly think that CP and Winfield will stay lily white for the next 40 years. Winfield is further east and is more diverse than CP itself!

Overall, race relations in the region are probably worse than Indiana in general because the regions population has grown largely due to White Flight whereas the rest of Indiana (speaking mostly to the rural areas) have always been and likely always will be White. Even look at the south suburbs west of I-57...still very very White (Whiter than even the suburbs in NWI) and diversifying at a much slower rate than NWI. Orland Park is huge and mostly developed and is still very White. It just appears more diverse due to the shopping areas but the census data and ACS data tells a different story. And that was a huge White flight destination.

While NWI is still a destination for white flight, it is also a destination for tax flight as well which covers people of all races and ethnicities which is why unfortunately, some of the White folks cannot handle that their new subdivision in Indiana is more diverse than the subdivision in Illinois that they left because they THOUGHT it would become more diverse.

I am personally an advocate of people living wherever they want. I know I would live anywhere in the region and would be prepared for what may come; however, you have a family to think about. The "safe" answer for you would be Schererville, Crown Point, or Dyer in as new and nice of a subdivision that you could afford. Proceed to St. John and Cedar Lake with caution ESPECIALLY if you are in an older and more economically accessible development. You will likely be fine but I would most definitely set up cameras on the outside of your home (wherever you live) because most of the racial actions that MAY happen may be of the passive aggressive type (vandalism, nasty anonymous notes/letters, etc.). Munster could be an option but you would get less house for your money than the other towns and while it is pretty diverse, most of the diversity is with White, Asian and Hispanic. Schererville and CP have higher Black populations than Munster.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
1 posts, read 2,437 times
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I bought my house here in 2006 after my divorce I'm a single mom, black, divorced with three kids.

Public schools are great my neighbors are awesome. We live in unincorporated Schererville. No place is perfect and you would definitely get those who aren't thrilled, but I haven't had any problems.

I owned a house on the Southside when I first got married. We lived there for 10 years around 103rd and Halsted. I watched the whole neighborhood deteriorate and didn't want to raise my kids there.

I love the low taxes and I don't regret moving here at all. I grew up in LaPorte, so I'm used to being around people that are not black, but I wanted to give my kids a chance to feel like kids and the craziness that was happening in Illinois in terms of taxes, crime, city stickers, parking tickets for being parked in front of your house while pregnant carrying a toddler and groceries to find a ticket on the window when you come back out.

The need for private schools is unacceptable to me.

I just miss being in the sun. These Midwest Winters are wearing me out and I'm hoping to find a lovely affordable place in the Southwest to move or retire to in the next few years as my kids graduate from high school.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:44 AM
 
2,133 posts, read 5,101,531 times
Reputation: 1543
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
I think flamaddidle's response was dead on! The towns you mentioned are predominantly white. As far as the number of "blacks" and acceptance would as follows (most to least).


Schererville
Dyer
St. John
Cedar Lake


I live in St. John and have a few black families that have recently moved into our subdivision. I have no issues as my sister in-law is black and I just wasn't raised to see color, but to see someone for who that actual are. HOWEVER, I'm not going to lie......I have a few neighbors who are quite mad about it and even have considered moving! These families who moved in keep their yards looking great and are very nice, but the neighbors that are racist will smile and then talk behind their backs and won't let their kids play with theirs. St. John (as of the last census as shown on the links below) only has 119 blacks total. The most populated area of minorities would be Schererville.


The least populated would be Cedar Lake with only 37 total blacks as of the last census in 2016. I also have a friend that lives there and she has said that they are really not accepting of blacks. I would also caution that Cedar Lake goes to Hanover Schools and the high school only has about 600 kids (last I checked) which could cause additional problems in regards to race. Children from Dyer, St. John and Schererville go to Lake Central H.S. which is much larger and much more diverse (about 3400 kids) .


As far as the area as a whole, there is still a lot of "white flight" happening as more and more white people are moving here from the South Chicago suburbs from places such as Homewood, Lansing and South Holland. They will not be as accepting as someone who has always lived here. In regards to safety I really don't think you have to worry about anything. Unfortunately racism still exists to some degree, but I would not let it deter you from moving.

The following links show the race statistics for the towns you mentioned.

//www.city-data.com/city/Schererville-Indiana.html


//www.city-data.com/city/Dyer-Indiana.html


//www.city-data.com/city/St.-John-Indiana.html


//www.city-data.com/city/Cedar-Lake-Indiana.html
Regarding the red point, where have those folks said they would move to? Just curious.

Regarding the green point, this is very true. Most folks born and raised in NWI may have their negative tendencies and thoughts towards outsiders, but it seems like the real outwardly racist and nasty folks have come from south suburbs where they feel that nobody else, especially a minority, has a right to “follow them”. I personally also know of a situation of a Black family who moved to Dyer FIRST and a White neighbor who moved in 10 years after them had the audacity to tell another White neighbor that they wished the Black family would leave their neighborhood (of course the White family didn’t know that they were the newcomers) because being the first house at the entrance makes others think differently about the neighborhood and homes wouldn’t sell as fast or would sell to the wrong people. This was also interesting because when I was driving through agates of Saint John, I noticed that some of the few Black families there have homes on the corners so they are visible.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
11,584 posts, read 5,871,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
Regarding the red point, where have those folks said they would move to? Just curious.

Regarding the green point, this is very true. Most folks born and raised in NWI may have their negative tendencies and thoughts towards outsiders, but it seems like the real outwardly racist and nasty folks have come from south suburbs where they feel that nobody else, especially a minority, has a right to “follow them”. I personally also know of a situation of a Black family who moved to Dyer FIRST and a White neighbor who moved in 10 years after them had the audacity to tell another White neighbor that they wished the Black family would leave their neighborhood (of course the White family didn’t know that they were the newcomers) because being the first house at the entrance makes others think differently about the neighborhood and homes wouldn’t sell as fast or would sell to the wrong people. This was also interesting because when I was driving through agates of Saint John, I noticed that some of the few Black families there have homes on the corners so they are visible.
Regarding the red point... they have said they would move further South. One neighbor said Demotte as that is where there family is from and another said Lowell or Cedar Lake. I guess that's all fine if you want to seclude your children and be even further from the city! And I agree, the real racist people are the ones who have been part of the "white flight" movement. They feel they have to keep moving if a minority is their neighbor. Craziness if you ask me since this country is made up of all different races! Not sure where they think they are going to go?
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:12 AM
 
3,531 posts, read 2,631,377 times
Reputation: 6316
I guess it depends on what you consider racist. I'm pretty sure you won't get burning crosses or the N word on your door but everything you do will be noticed. Your race will be a topic even in general stupid ways like "that black family really keeps their yard up", "that black guy rides his bike a lot". You will also have conversations with them where they will not even realize they are being inappropriate that will make you roll your eyes. You are likely to be pulled over. I have biracial cousins who are professionals and all have been pulled over more than once while visiting us in Munster.
I guess it's just what you're willing to put up with and how much of this is present in your life already.
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