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Effort to get masks to black communities on West Side starts at hair salon

People can swing by Creative Salon in the Lawndale neighborhood to pick up a mask or call to request free delivery.

State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (right), along with other volunteers, points at boxes of face masks that are being collected at a salon on the West Side and being handed out to anyone who needs one beginning Friday morning.
State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (right), along with other volunteers, points at boxes of face masks at Creative Salon in Lawndale.
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A group in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side wants people in the black community to wear face masks and is helping out by trying to provide them to whomever is in need.

“We need to mask up and live,” state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford said Friday morning as volunteers prepared to hand out masks to anyone who arrived at Creative Salon, 3946 W. 16th St.

“We’re taking a beauty salon and turning a shop that’s non-essential into one that’s essential,” said Ford.

The masks are available for anyone who stops by the salon between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day of the week for the foreseeable future, according to community activist Mark Carter, who helped organize the event.

Masks will also be available for free delivery to folks in the area, Carter said. To make a delivery request, call (224) 857-0795 or (312) 905-3962, he said.

The effort has taken on the monikers of “Mask Up and Live” and “Million Masks for the Hood,” said Carter and Ford.

“Testing is low and deaths are high in this community,” Ford said.

Donations of money and masks are being accepted at the salon, said Ford, who leaned on political connections, including lobbyists, to help provide money and masks.

“It’s times like these when you learn who your friends really are,” he said.