Thursday, June 30, 2016

Men's Shelter At Lawrence & Sheridan To Close July 31 Due To Budget Impasse (Updated 1x)

941 W. Lawrence
Update: With the stopgap budget passed in Springfield on Thursday, the shelter has announced it will be able to stay open at least through the end of the year. Here's the story in DNAinfo.

Original post is here:
Another casualty of the budget crisis down in Springfield:

North Side Housing and Support Services Press Release:

The Board of Directors that oversees a 72-bed shelter for homeless men in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago voted last night (Wednesday) to close its doors on July 31st because the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services said it was unable to process a contract until the State of Illinois passes a budget for the fiscal year 2017.

The shelter is run by the Interim Housing Program of North Side Housing and Supportive Services which was founded in 1983. It is located in the Peoples Church at 941 W. Lawrence Ave., and has been in operation for several years. It is open 365 days a year; and in the past year,more than 320 different men spent a total of 18,000 nights at the shelter.

Over half of the shelter's funding, or about $255,000 per year, is provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services through contracts with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services.

Richard Ducatenzeiler, Executive Director of North Side Housing and Supportive Services was notified by the City of Chicago that, "…until we know what is going to happen to the state budget we are not at this time processing the IDHS contracts."

North Side Housing and Supportive Services, is a non-profit social services organization. In addition to the Interim Housing Program (shelter), North Side also provides case management, permanent supportive housing, and other supportive services for the homeless.

"Our other programs are funded by donations from individuals, corporations,foundations, and government agencies," Ducatenzeiler said. "We have no extra funding.Without the state funding for the shelter, we are forced to shut it down until replacement funds can be found. The program will cease to operate on July 31st if no contract is executed.”

12 comments:

  1. Didn't the State just pass a budget?

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  2. I'd be interested to know if this was one of the shelters that some homeless say is dangerous because of crime inside. If people don't feel safe going there, there is no reason for it to exist. IMO all city shelters should be run by the city with tax payer dollars with supportive services on site and no sermons to sit through before you get some food in your belly.

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    1. That's exactly the case at Pacific Garden. You are forced to endure four sermons a day: an hour-long one before each meal and a 90-minute one before showering and bedtime.

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  3. The CPD just arrested a bunch of gang bangers and they listed shelters as their "address." This is why the area is teeming with crime. Need to close down these services.

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  4. What will happen to the building? Are their other programs in that facility that will continue?

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    1. The shelter is only one tenant that rents space in the Preston Bradley Center. There are other tenants, including People's Church and Uptown Arts Center. However, certainly the loss of a large tenant in the PBC will be a huge blow to the budget of the building.

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  5. Couldn't agree more with you here. Flop houses are a huge draw for the drug dealers/users. They need real and enforced standards, or they should be closed down. Think back to when 1350 Wilson was an unregulated flop house (pre Baker and Nosh). That whole block was ghetto to the max.

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  6. Close it down. Uptown has more than its share of shelters and subsidized housing. Too much of a concentration of this in one area only breeds crime. PBC needs to be renovated (at least the part I had to go in)and get tenants in that will take care of the place and add value to the community. I had to go there to vote and the place was a complete sh*t hole. I did not feel safe going in to vote and no security was present. Shelters and subsidized housing need to be held to a high standard and ensure their clients are law abiding citizens that are working with agencies to improve their unfortunate circumstances.

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  7. Uptown is near the top in drug crime because it is at the top in flop houses and drug rehab housing centers where private companies make money off of government funding. Homeless people need services, no question. But there has to be a way to keep the gangs and drugs from becoming such an integral part. Now please shut down those places around Argyle and Kenmore so Argyle can have a chance to flourish.

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  8. Anyone remember the "good ole' days" when this shelter and a few others in that same immediate area housed over 70 sex offenders and the police did nothing to track their whereabouts when they went missing from their registered address into the bowels of Uptown.. Talk about concentration and total service agency disregard for the neighborhood. They won't be missed.

    BTW, I actually did a work day there for my employer, who was assigned to that charity by United Way. The upper floors were a complete fire trap with boxes, and boxes, and boxes of clothes and other materials stacked sky high. There are no sprinkles. Does the fire department ever inspect these housing sites or do they just do a cursory review of their licenses and look around the first floor?

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  9. BTW, there is a whole layer of government-funded social service agency work that is hidden in this problem. We often look to the ultimate housing / shlelter agencies as the problem. But, there a whole layer of agencies above them that are paid by the government, i.e. you taxpayers, to find housing placements for the hard to place. It is those agencies that are using Uptown as their "go-to" community to place these people. It is much easier to keep placing them in one community with a mass of shelters and tiny apartments than it is for them to work harder to cast a net to find housing placements across the entire city. They constantly call to monintor and fill any housing vacancies that arise whenever Uptown has an opening. They cause the concentration of hard to place ex-cons, sex offenders, parolees, and dangerously mentally ill into Uptown. They are as responsible for where these people live as are the activist group that created tent city under the LSD viaducts. Without them, all these troubled people would not choose to concentrate themselves in one part of the city. These placement agencies are like ghosts in the process and they need to be identified and held accountable for what they do to Uptown. After all, they are paid by you, the taxpayers.

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