1.21.2009

homeless folks become a challenge

The people 2 floors above us were robbed a day or two ago. Today we got this email from the building developer:
Today we found a homeless man & women sleeping in our 1428-3S model unit. Man said the gate was open and door unlocked last Friday. He did not have any master keys. Police were called and he was arrested. Though possible, I do not think he was involved in the robbery. He will be questioned by detectives.

Homeless folks become a challenge during periods of extreme cold. Please be sure gates & front doors are closed and LOCKED. Locks stick when it is very cold.
Successful ways to be compassionate and take care of each other.
And realize that you can't just, okay, no really, you can't just LEAVE the door open and look the other way so someone can have a warm place to sleep.

but people need a warm place to sleep.

but that's someone else's job, right?

Ugh. I live in this community. This is now sort of my job. As someone who actually has a warm place to sleep.


{musical interlude for Internet Research}


Thanks for holding.
The nearest homeless shelter, REST (Residents for Effective Shelter Transitions) is about 3 miles away, which doesn't make a lot of sense. I live in a pretty poor neighborhood. Not only that, but check THIS out:

R.E.S.T. STOPPED: CHICAGO ALDERMEN DENY HOMELESS SHELTER

EXCLUSIVE - THE BENCH - Four aldermen on Chicago's north side flatly refused another alderman's pleas to help find space for an endangered homeless shelter.

The men's shelter in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood will be shut down on December 1 and evicted from the church that has housed it for 25 years. The City of Chicago said it would pay for a temporary space for the shelter until May 1, 2009.
Four aldermen, you say.
Alderman Joe Moore (49th Ward)
Alderman Eugene Schulter (47th Ward)

Helen Shiller (46th Ward)
Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward)
That top one? Joe Moore? That would be my alderman.

Well hell. If I could wear this

on the CTA, maybe I can also call my alderman.
And find room to kick a humble portion of my pathetic actor's salary to REST.

Challenge on.

1 comment:

nora said...

Ugggh. I wish I had some sage advice about what to do. But if I did, there would be no homelessness. I learned the term NIMBY when I started working for a nonprofit -Not In My Back Yard.
I'm sure Chicago has winter contingency plans in place when it is so cold. There should also be a hot line (pardon the pun) for information and services - it's 211 in Indiana.
Keep up the compassion - we know that the majority of people don't wake up and say: Gosh, it's a good day to start living on the street. It's a slow steady combination of bad breaks (health - mental and physical, work, family) and other barriers that put them in that situation.
I'm just a loving family, good health care and a few months from being on the streets.
And before you think too harshly about the alderman, maybe there was a real reason to close the shelter - it might have been unsafe or not met health codes.
That's all I've got - keep up on your local politics and politicians, they're the gateway to change.