The three city tour following President Obama's State of the Union ends in his hometown with a speech highlighting his key second-term proposals.
The minimum wage topped his afternoon speech at Chicago's Hyde Park Academy. But residents were more concerned about his ideas to end the city's deadly surge of gun violence.
Chicago is now the country's murder capital.
"I don't know. It is out of hand. It's a war in itself in Chicago it really is," resident Monica Hresil said.
Hresil's 18-year-old son David was shot and killed while walking home from school. Four years later, there is still no arrest and the city's violence is worse.
But Hresil is hopeful the president's visit will help to turn things around.
"That's all I can be is hopeful. Whether it will happen, I don't know," she said.
The president's visit comes only weeks after the first lady returned to Chicago for the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton.
The 15-year-old girl was shot and killed at a public park only a mile from the Obama's Chicago home and just days after she performed with her school's marching band for his inauguration festivities.
Her death sparked national headlines and desperate calls from Chicago activists for a presidential visit.
The president's return home to the Windy City is the answer to those calls. Still, there are some who say the president's visit isn't the real answer to the gun and gang violence plaguing the city.
"When the president was senator, we had over 900 shootings here before he became president," Andrew Holmes, a community activist said.
Holmes began reaching out to victims and their families years ago, not long after he was caught in the cross-fire of a gang banger.
He said the answer is for others to do the same.
"We have to get out here, go door to door in this community, in this city, east, north, south and west, inside these schools as a whole community organization group and grab hold to a lot of these children and a lot of these families, show them some love, bond and get them some help," Holmes said.