Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Health Outreach / Health Hazard?

A reader sends us photos of the messy and overflowing (to put it mildly) dumpsters in the alley behind 4730 Winthrop. Dumpsters like this send out the message: "Hey, rats! Good eatin' here! Good hiding places, too!" It doesn't matter how many times the City baits the alley if overflowing dumpsters like this exist.

"The irony here is that on the dumpsters, it says they belong to 'Chicago Health Outreach'! The garbage has been there for two days and the block shouldn't have to put up with such a disgusting mess. Other residents have experienced $200 fines from Streets and San for just having their dumpster propped open a little (cited as 'over-flowing'). I'd like someone to follow up to see if 4730 Winthrop actually gets a fine and if so, if they actually have to PAY it."

We at Uptown Update suggest that neighbors use the 311 City Service Request (linked on the right) to report this problem. Because we agree, no block should have to put up with a health hazard like that.


  1. I googled the address and it comes up registered to ACT Residential
    (Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Services of Heartland Health Outreach).

    Perhaps a call to Heartland Corporation is in order.

  2. Heartland Health Outreach does this because they can get away with it. There's been a lower standard for social services in this area for many years.

  3. I don't see any "wet" garbage--like rotting discarded produce or meat--in the photos posted.

    It looks more like someone cleaned out his or her basement clutter.

    The mess is unsightly, but it hardly looks like it would be "appetizing" to rats.

  4. 311 service request, done! I can't be the only one - everyone else please take a second to do this as well.

  5. They actually had flooding and cleaned out the basement. They also requested a special pick-up. Maybe the person that took the picture could have been a good concerned neighbor and ASKED what was going on. Thats at least what I did! Being a good neighbor.

  6. Hey, nightowl, I wasn't the one who took the picture, but before you defend the people who inflicted that mess on our neighborhood (and trust me, it's hardly the first time), ask: "Are THEY being good neighbors? Are they acting with the best interests of the community in mind?"

    Requesting a "special pickup" isn't enough when your alley looks like that for TWO DAYS. I'm the contact with the garbage company for our condo association, and trust me, when we tell them we've got a mess and to get out here, they're here within an hour. Since it's a private company, Heartland is PAYING THEM to do just that. Leaving overflowing dumpsters (which is illegal, not just un-neighborly) and saying, "Well, I called and requested a special pickup but they haven't come" doesn't cut it in my book.

    I admire Heartland and have nothing against them, but our alley is a mess because of them.

    Consider this: Truman Square Neighbors had a block party on Saturday with lots of food, lots of people and lots of trash. All traces of it were gone within a day (except the portapotties, which got picked up Monday morning). Surely the rest of the neighborhood can handle their own trash as well as an event that generated an assload of garbage?

  7. Just to clarify: My screen name and the name of the block club aren't linked. I've been Truman Square Neighbor since the days on the BPN board, and the block club is just over a year old.

    So when I defend the trash pickup after the block party event, it's not me patting myself on the back. We just share a name, not an affiliation.

  8. I don't know that we should be blaming the business Health Outreach/ACT Residential here as much as we should be blaming Waste Management. They are the ones who should be picking up the trash regularly.

  9. If this had been from a condo building, we all know what would have happened. The standards are different (lower) for social services in Uptown, thus the anger with many of them because the rest of the community suffers.