Investors Sold Somali Families on a Fast Track to Homeownership. The Buyers Risk Losing Everything.

For Somali Muslim families in Minnesota, a contract for deed seems like an easier path to homeownership. But predatory practices and poor regulation can make it a financial trap rather than a good deal.

Reporting From the Midwest

Our team in the Midwest covers Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri. Based in Chicago, it grew out of our first regional publishing operation, which focused on people living and working in Illinois. Read more.

What Happened to Rezwan

When Kabul fell, Biden promised to rescue Afghan allies. For 14-year-old Rezwan Kohistani and his family, that meant being sent to a remote Missouri town where no other Afghans lived. “We’d been left alone,” said Rezwan’s father.

What the Disability Community Told Us About Sheltered Workshops

Reporter Madison Hopkins tells us how she learned the context behind what she was hearing from Missouri’s disabled workers and their families.

Michigan’s Largest Utility Wants a Rate Hike as It Disconnects a High Number of Customers for Nonpayment

DTE Energy has cut off power to customers more times in 2022 than in any nine-month period since the state began tracking shut-offs.

Local Reporting Network Partners

ProPublica is supporting local and regional newsrooms as they work on important investigative projects affecting their communities. Some of our past and present partners in the region:

Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
The Southern Illinoisan
Carbondale, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
The Daily Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois
The Business Journal
Youngstown, Ohio
Outlier Media
Detroit, Michigan

How Jessica Logan’s Call for Help Became Evidence Against Her

After her baby died in the night, a young mother called 911. Police thought they could read her mind just by listening. Now she’s haunted by the words she chose.

In Missouri’s Sheltered Workshops, Disabled Workers Make Low Wages For Years

Sheltered workshops in Missouri pay disabled workers very low wages. They rarely help workers move on to higher-paying jobs.

The Landlord & the Tenant

Near Milwaukee, two lives intersect in a house that catches fire. What came before and after shows there’s one kind of justice for those who own and another for those who rent.

Missouri Allows Some Disabled Workers to Earn Less Than $1 an Hour. The State Says It’s Fine If That Never Changes.

Sheltered workshops are meant to employ disabled adults as they prepare to enter the regular workforce. In Missouri, these workers rarely graduate to higher-paying jobs.

Report Finds “Code of Silence” at Mental Health Facility Where Staff Abused and Neglected Patients

A newly released report from an agency watchdog echoes reporting published earlier this year that revealed widespread collusion to cover up misconduct at the Illinois facility.

City Officials Withhold Key Information on Deal to Lease Public Housing Land to Pro Soccer Team

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has pushed a plan to lease public housing land to the Chicago Fire soccer team. But as the deal awaits federal approval, the Chicago Housing Authority has kept key details hidden from the public and other officials.

Ohio Lawmakers Seek Strict Rules for “Clean Energy” Lending

A statewide clean-energy lending program in Ohio stalled last year before making any loans. Lawmakers want to add consumer protections in case the program resurfaces.

That Cardboard Box in Your Home Is Fueling Election Denial

A previously unreported boom in profits for the shipping supply giant Uline has provided the funds for a deeply conservative Midwestern family to bankroll anti-democracy causes around the country.

What One Photographer Captured in Wisconsin’s Changing Election Climate

Sausage, speeches and anger: Political events and an unusual court case shape the mood in Wisconsin as Election Day approaches.

Tim Ryan: The Working-Class-Jobs Candidate in the Era of Resentment

Democrat Tim Ryan has long emphasized manufacturing jobs, a stance his party has lately begun to embrace. How he fares in his Senate race in Republican-dominated Ohio could reveal a lot about his party’s future prospects.

The Chicago Housing Authority Keeps Giving Up Valuable Land While HUD Rubber-Stamps the Deals

Despite being years behind on obligations to build more homes, the city’s public housing agency gets permission to sell, lease and swap its property in gentrifying neighborhoods.

Deaths Linked to Neglect, Error Raise Concerns About Quality of Care at This Safety Net Hospital

Roseland Community Hospital promises the “best quality care” for Chicago’s South Side, but a whistleblower complaint and a rash of fatalities, lawsuits and negative federal inspection reports suggest the situation had become dire during COVID-19.

Chilling Audio Provides Rare Glimpse Into Abuse at Troubled Illinois Residential Facility

No one was charged when staff were caught on a 911 tape threatening violence against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center resident who has developmental disabilities. New reporting shows a culture of cover-ups at the facility.

Election Deniers Failed to Hand Wisconsin to Trump but Have Paved the Way for Future GOP Success

The stolen election myth has helped reshape this battleground state for the upcoming midterms and the 2024 presidential race.

Missouri Town to Get Air Pollution Monitors Following ProPublica Report

The EPA will start monitoring the air in Verona, Missouri, where a manufacturing plant named BCP Ingredients emits ethylene oxide, a potent carcinogen.

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