Chicago, Newsweek

Millennials Who Live At Home for Newsweek

Last week, my friend, photo editor Mike Ip at Newsweek, assigned me to find and photograph millennials in the Chicago area who currently live at home. The Great Recession has drastically altered the financial and social calculus for many of my generation whose careers do not fall under the corporate or finance realm (albeit in the early days of the Great Recession, these industries took a significant hit as well). While the U.S. government monthly jobs report show ever increasing employment numbers, behind these uplifting stats belies an uncomfortable truth that many of these jobs are part-time and offer few, if any benefits. Consequently, the independence of American adult life as it was known in the postwar period whereby you turn 18 and are on your own is not totally at play any more as many, many young people lean on family in various ways, from shelter to mealtime. As someone who has spent about one-fifth of my life in various European countries where this is quite the norm unless economic circumstances forces you abroad in search of better employment opportunities and salaries, I actually think the outcome of a less independent, wholly selfish society could potentially be very positive.

The pictures below ran online on the Newsweek website. Special thanks to Jake Armstrong, David Braun, Clayton Hauck, and Gigi Silverstein-Tapp for trusting me to bother your people with my camera.

Natasha Rodriguez, 26, plays with her niece Alyson, 10 months, while her mother, Alison, 48, looks on in her parents house where she lives in their refurbished basement in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on April 23, 2015.  Rodriguez works for a bio-pharma company and at a pediatrician's office on the weekends while working towards her master's in nursing education.

Natasha Rodriguez, 26, plays with her niece Alyson, 10 months, while her mother, Alison, 48, looks on in her parents house where she lives in their refurbished basement in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois on April 23, 2015. Rodriguez works for a bio-pharma company and at a pediatrician’s office on the weekends while working towards her master’s in nursing education.

Mike Padgett, 30, stands beside his bunk beds in his bedroom in Chicago Ridge, Illinois on April 21, 2015.  Padgett lives at home with his extended family while studying at University of Illinois Chicago and doing an externship in the neuroscience imaging and microscopy lab and bar tends at the Drum and Monkey on campus for extra cash.

Mike Padgett, 30, stands beside his bunk beds in his bedroom in Chicago Ridge, Illinois on April 21, 2015. Padgett lives at home with his extended family while studying at University of Illinois Chicago and doing an externship in the neuroscience imaging and microscopy lab and bar tends at the Drum and Monkey on campus for extra cash.

Debbie Tobar and daughter Bianca Tobar, 25, make dinner together in the kitchen of the family's house in the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois on April 22, 2015.  Tobar works as an administrative assistant a doctor at a medical center.

Debbie Tobar and daughter Bianca Tobar, 25, make dinner together in the kitchen of the family’s house in the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois on April 22, 2015. Tobar works as an administrative assistant a doctor at a medical center.