Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Aldi Poster Says It All



  1. Holding an American flag?..wow. Pictures really do speak a 1,000 words.

  2. I am wondering what exactly is the point of showing pics of our homeless brothers and sisters.This is not meant to be an attack only to beg the question,WHY!!!!

  3. Because it's what we see every time we go out.

    Because Christie Hahn of Business Partners said it was impossible to have a decent retail climate here with the high amount of homeless, psnhandling and quality of life issues that are currently in Uptown.

    Because a street resident's belongings sitting in front of a sparkly Aldi's poster speaks volumes about Uptown.

    Shall we just pretend they don't exist? That this is Mayberry?

  4. Onelovetnt, you will notice that the Uptown Updater often posts pictures of things that he sees while walking around the neighborhood. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it really interesting for several reasons. People are usually busy going to-and-fro and sometimes forget to stop and notice things. Even if you do stop and notice things you still only "see" the things that are on the routes you travel. For these reasons I find it interesting to see what other people "see" when they are out and about. It is both what is actually there and how people tend to "see" it.

    I think I "see" what UU saw. Underneath a commercial sign that says "happiness" you find a perhaps homeless woman seeking a spot to rest. Another person perches on a railing with an American flag. I'll play teacher for a moment and ask the class, "what do you think about when you see these images? Use the following vocabulary words in your answer: patriotism, happiness, poverty, homelessness, hope, public space, weariness, and any other vocabulary words we have learned so far this year."

  5. Of course they exist,and what are we(and i am not actually speaking about me)doing besides taking these pics and talking about it,to help.Is being homeless a crime,or is it just upsetting?

  6. saskia,
    sometimes I feel as if I am speaking to people who,are new to these experiences!I myself have been homeless.I ask again what are we doing,physically,emotionally,moneywise,to heal this sad state.Moving in buisnesses that the average uptowner can't afford?Closing down low income housing to make way for condos?causing division and fear?Isolating long term residents who know what comes next?Displacement,your cause should be to lift uptown higher,to protect those who are cast aside by greed,and if someone wouldn't shop at my store simply because there were "eyesores" outside,well I wouldn't take there money to begin with.

  7. Well I am sorry that some people continue to see the residents of Uptown as victims and have no way out of their current situation. People who are homeless have many opportunities to resolve their current situation. These are not always perfect options and many times involve being asked to do things they have been resistant to do in the past, such as attending counseling, taking medication and avoiding drugs and alcohol. Many people who remain homeless do so because they refuse this type of “structure”. As a person who regularly works with the homeless I respect an adults right to make this decision for himself or herself. However, I do not respect their decision to spread out their dysfunction all over the streets of the neighborhood. People, who make excuses for this behavior and label those who oppose it, do not understand the complex nature of this social problem. Healthy safe neighborhoods do not accept this behavior and Uptown is turning the corner with this understanding, even though some local politicians refuse to do so. The best thing we can do if we care about people such as those in the picture is to express to them that out neighborhood demands more from them. Just “accepting them as is” is actually less compassionate in my opinion.

  8. onelovetnt - please tell me when "low income housing" has been "shut down" to make way for condos in Uptown. I'd love for you to provide some Uptown specific examples of that.

    It is to my understanding that the current stock of low income housing is going nowhere.

  9. Taking snapshots of what you see in your neighborhood is a good thing. I may personally hold the commentary and allow the photos to speak for themselves, but I wouldn't stop anyone else from offering their take.

    Broadway in particular is very important because the WY TIF is taking 50 million dollars in property tax revenue in hopes of stimulating foot traffic. However, that's exactly what this Aldi was supposed to do. Then the entrance was moved to the rear, OFF THE STREET.

    Now allegedly a Target will be built. Where do you think that entrance will go? Will it be on Broadway or in the rear?

    Aldi IS a merchant that tries to provide affordable food products. But it was built in the wrong way and that has permanent effects in the community.

    Do we wait for this to replicate to an alleged Target?

  10. Prime example: Walking home the other day I crossed paths with the gentleman in the wheelchair always asking for money on Wilson to get his next meal. I told him I couldn't afford to give him anything. I asked if he believed me. He was indifferent to the question.

    I told him "I know where to get two free meals each day". He shrugged and said "That isn't food. A burger is food."

    How can I as a taxpayer do anything about this situation?

  11. So these women are literally in the shadow of Wilson Yard. Yet we all know that few currently homeless people are likely to become housed in the new development. Why are we not seeing plans that involve working with the local shelters to help transition as many currently homeless people in Uptown into this newly built housing?

  12. To me, these photos offer mostly ironic or shock value, and little else. The photo of the poster was so poorly recorded that the blog writer had to inform readers that its headline reads "Happiness."

    Yeah, ironic shock value and little else. Sort of like this crappy photo...

    Ironic photo

  13. How do you know this is not happening?I work with the homeless,low income,police,dhs,the alderwoman,and other programs to house and employ as many women as possible,if and hopefully when there is more low income housing built or available,we will again work together to place and support families and individuals...MAYBE ON THE WY!!!Yes of course there are those that have lived a certain way so long that it is hard to change.Yes there are more instances of crime in low income areas.So what is your solution????

  14. Billie Joe, time to get a new monitor or new glasses. I can read "Happiness" just fine. I suppose it gives you something to complain about.

    "Onelovetnt" is the same person as "dacutestmama" she likes to use the (!!!!!!!!!), she is also a race baiter and will turn any argument in to (us vs. them) Please do not help her play victim.

    As far a the picture? I think it speaks to the failing of one Helen Shiller. She is the champion of these people and she has failed to raise them up. I don't blame the people as much because they were promised by Helen to be lifted. Why would they lift themselves up when Helen was going to hug the homeless right out of them?

  15. Well said uptown vegetarian. most of these people are not victims.

  16. MAYBE ON THE WY!!!

    Right. Maybe in Wilson Yard. That is not a plan. A plan would involve identifying how many people currently living in shelters or transitional situations could be successfully assisted into a mainstream living situation in order to reduce the number of who are unhoused. Of course doing this would disrupt Daley's need to use this as CHA replacement housing in an unsegregated community. WY will open but it will do little if anything to meaningfully reduce the number of homeless people currently living in Uptown.

  17. "How do you know this is not happening?I work with the homeless,low income,police,dhs,the alderwoman,and other programs to house and employ as many women as possible,if and hopefully when there is more low income housing built or available,we will again work together to place and support families and individuals...MAYBE ON THE WY!!!"

    Why wait? They're homeless now. There's affordable housing all over the city, Cook County, and the suburbs. What are YOU waiting for?

    Lets put these people in housing right now.

    Gentleman in a wheelchair could be working right now for $10 an hour. He wouldn't have to ask for money for a burger. He could buy one for himself. His own two hands can produce many things.

  18. Sorry to disagree sir.I absolutely am not any one else on here,nor am I a mama.I am someone who says how I feel,and what I have experienced,and I have very strong views.Writing me off because of those beliefs is divisive,and I know that is some peoples goal.Not mine though!! We have to see both sides to see the whole picture,I hope that everyone on here doesn't throw ridiculous acusations around,and is genuinely seeking growth for uptown.

  19. I should say if WY opens as planned.

  20. Why doesn't our Chamber of Commerce give them jobs picking up trash....I see everybody from high risk teens to next-to homeless wearing "Lakeview Chamber of Commerce" vests cleaning trash south of us and painting over graffeti....Find them something to do besides drink hennesy/ wild irish rose and then smash the bottles into a million peices. Give them an opportunity--those that don't want it stop enabling, you can't help those who won't help themselves.

  21. No one is waiting,we are working diligently.Daily I place someone into perm. housing and it is a victory for them every time!We are also assessing their emotional, mental,and physical needs.To pretend that race plays no issue in the state of uptown,and uptowns youth is just plain stupid.Why is it that when someone brings up the fact that racism is still alive and well,they are immediately written off.Bottom line is this,What is bieng done here in uptown is gentrification,don't make it pretty,don't say you've got the peoples best interest at heart.You represent none of the people you've taken pictures of you know none of their names or their losses.I am not making excuses for anyone,I am telling what I know.You(maybe unknowingly)are participating in gentrification,racial discrimination and dicrimination against the poor,this will only end in more violence,and the displacement of thousands,is that what you want?You can say that is not what is going on,but it's happening all over the country.Be a voice of change,not one of whitewashing and displacement.PLEASE.

  22. Gentleman in a wheelchair could be working right now for $10 an hour.

    Why doesn't our Chamber of Commerce give them jobs picking up trash...

    Although I get where you guys are coming from, given the complexity of the issues it does come off a bit like "Are there no workhouses?" The real problem is that there are very, very few good employment options for people with low skills/mental deficiencies/lack of work history or formal education/a non-violent criminal record. What is lacking in Chicago (and we're seeing it in Uptown) are integrated services that focus on marketable skill-building/service provision and affordable housing. The Shillerites focus ad nauseum on the housing component as if the other parts will magically happen when the housing (as hard as it is to get) is actually the easiest component. TIF money can go for jobs programs but usually very little of it does. I have said it many times before but I will say it again. Shiller doesn't have a coherent plan and this should be worrisome not only to people who would like to see quality commercial development but the do-gooders as well.

  23. tnt -- you're doing exactly what you say you abhor. i actually have represented people like the men photographed. you don't know anyone who types here, just like we don't know you.

  24. Okay, OneLoveTNT, you've had your say. When you start saying that commenters who feel differently than you are participating in racial discrimination, you're done. No one has played the race card but you, and you have NO IDEA what race the people posting are. NONE.

    Feel free to read, but if you post again, you need to do it in a respectful, non-insulting way, just as people have answered you.

    And that goes for everyone, not just you, so don't feel like you're being singled out.

  25. onelove: "gentrification" may not be as bad as you make it out to be. If you have time, this is a worthwhile read that was posted a few weeks back.


  26. PS: As to my 12:55 post, I am discussing these issues as city-wide problems that have concentrated here. They are neither exclusively an Uptown phenomena or something that we should be able to fix by ourselves if only our hearts would grow more compassionate. But I suppose that people who are familiar with my usual comments saw that?...

  27. Here we go, I told you she was going to turn it to race. It is a shame that it all comes back to that. We try to talk and when the talk is not going a certain way Boom..race card.

    What about accountability? What about personal responsibility? What about flat out Darwinism?

    I took a ride along Marine Drive this morning and saw a whole lot of people homeless. Why do they pick those parks? Why Uptown? The same police patrol the city so it reasons to be that if a cop kicks them out of one area they should kick them out of another right? They come to Uptown because they have been promised to live the life they choose to live and not be bothered. They come here for meals and handouts not be pulled from the life they choose.

    Life deals us all crappy hands. I didn't ask to grow up in a house with drugs and drug dealing. I didn't ask to have an addict for a mother. I didn't ask to have fistfights with my father. What I did do was make the choice to abandon that way of life for a better one. No hand outs, just work, education, and a little self pride.

    Lets draw the line between homeless and handicapped. We all understand the difference. An frankly these pictures do not mock homeless, they put the problem right in front of our faces and we all understand it must be fixed.

  28. Um, I didn't realize you need to be skilled to pick up trash. If it's such a complex issue maybe it's time to simplify it, i.e. here's a broom go work-then here's food/room and board. That way we see who wants real help and who would rather stand around panhandling for booze money...My guess is 30% would step up to recieve help (work or education/training) and 70%would would rebel your not enabling them anymore.

  29. Well directing the homeless to just get over it is ignorance.If you said nothing that could be construed as racist or ignorant than I am not speaking to you.Please don't attempt to direct me in the way in wich I choose to get my point across.I also said discrimination against the poor,the race card in uptown is always on the table to pretend that it isn't is ignoring the lion in the room.Yes thats it,tell us all why gentrification can be helpful,yep,yep,I was wrong about judging you,comletely out of line.MY BAD.

  30. Well, uptownpits, Uptown has a lot of folks who are bumping along on the bottom. Excluding the elderly, the permanently disabled (phys or mentally) and people deep in the throes of an addiction [this is a significant % of Uptowners], there are still lots of folks who repeatedly fall in and out of hard times. It really takes a lot more than handing someone a broom in order launch them on a path that keeps them from skidding along at the bottom. I really do appreciate the 'personal responsibility' element in all of this because yes sticking with things over the long haul is hard and necessary in order to improve your own life. I was just pointing out that many people get their act together for a year and then experience a setback that they take really hard and the momentum may stop. That is really hard when FT low-end jobs that pay decently are scarcer than they once were. This situation is exactly why a neighborhood such as ours should endeavor to focus on providing quality services along the lines that I spoke of here but also being active in getting the city to do so in other areas as well.

  31. From what I have seen in the streets of Chicago, homelessness doesn't seem to care what race or gender you are.

  32. What is bieng done here in uptown is gentrification,don't make it pretty,don't say you've got the peoples best interest at heart.

    Well, to be perfectly honest, I personally have never said I have the people's best interest at heart and probably never will. I have my OWN best interest at heart. Just so happens that my "best interest" includes streets that I call walk down without being shot, neighborhoods where people care about whether it's clean or not (and opt for clean), an area where the less fortunate and those who have plenty can live without their individual economies becoming a point of contention. And if my own best interests just happen to result in a better situation for someone else, they're welcome to it.

    Does race have anything to do with this blog/posts? In some cases, sure. I have no doubt that there are some people who post here who attribute all the problems of Uptown to the presence of blacks, Latinos and (yes) even whites. But they are not the majority, at least I'd like to believe that. Race has little to do with not wanting a gun battle to break out in the middle of the afternoon on a crowded street, or to not be accosted by someone looking for a handout every two blocks, or to not be jumped while trying to get to your front door.

    Now as to your original point of what was the point of showing photos of the homeless, I think it this case it was meant to be just a simple statement of social irony, of a sign touting happiness while someone is forced to live on the street. Surely you can see that this is not an "attack on the homeless" but an attack the mistreatment of the poor in this city and country. To be honest, I've had my problems with the way the homeless have been portrayed here sometimes; a few of the photos seem to have been posted simply to classify the homeless being photographed an an eyesore, like these:

    Photo 1

    Photo 2

    And after a few complaints (like yours) that I've read here, there seems to have been an attempt to put it in a humanitarian context by including the info that 911 was called or a wellness check was made. But personally I think the point has been made. I don't think there's any regular readers here who don't know the homeless situation in Uptown and needs to be reminded of it almost daily. But that's just me. But I don't think it should be ignored either.

    And as for the lack of affordable housing, there is quite a bit of affordable housing in Uptown. it only seems inadequate because more and more people are moving into the area seeking it. The area can't accomodate everyone, no matter what you or the city or anyone else thinks. If you really want to help the homeless and the less fortunate, you'd be out petitioning for some of the other neighborhoods in the city that have successfully managed to refuse affordable housing being built there to be forced to accept it.

    Finally, don't rely on the old saw of calling any new development "gentrification", whatever that means anymore. And don't construct the old formula of "gentrification = racism". Is it racism when black urban professionals move back to King Drive, gut the old building and rehab them into new condos that now cost in the hundreds of thousands.

    Tell you what, why don't YOU tell us your vision of what Uptown should look like? Should condos be built here? Should it be all "affordable housing"? What? I think that would help a lot.

  33. Why all the pontification? And I mean that to all. Look, everybody's opinion has value, until you step over UU's boundaries. Too many lobs of racism back and forth about who dropped the dreaded g-word or r-word. Offer solutions, not accusations.

    We all recognize it is not solely an Uptown problem. We should recognize there is a disproportionate number in Uptown.

    And Superhero, "Jesus needs the wood?" C'mon...

  34. General note:

    Just because you're X, doesn't make you a racist.

    Just because you're Y, doesn't mean that you aren't.

    I'm a bit sick and tired of being considered a racist simply due to my skin color, or what people prejudge my lot in life to be.

    I'm also sick and tired of people immediately pulling the race card when social issues come into play.

    Racism and prejudice travel in both directions.

    Hypocrisy, on the other hand, travels in same direction as does ignorance: down.

  35. We all recognize it is not solely an Uptown problem.

    Yeah, but see, this blog is kinda called "Uptown Update", so.... yeah....

  36. PS: As to my 12:55 post, I am discussing these issues as city-wide problems that have concentrated here.

    I picked up on that, and we've had a long talk in the past about our ideological differences on the nature of public assistance.

    the race card in uptown is always on the table to pretend that it isn't is ignoring the lion in the room.

    See, thats just a classic false choice. You've presented me with two choices, either I accept that racism drives my actions, or I accept that, although unseen and un-identifiable, racism is pervasive in Uptown.

    And onelovetnt, you want to know why gentrification is good? Sure, I'll tell you

    1) Gentrification lowers crime
    2) Gentrification creates jobs
    3) Gentrification, contrary to popular belief DOES NOT remove low income housing.
    4) Gentrification increases the tax base for a community allowig it to pursue the grander social services. The entire financing plan for WY is based on an expected gentrification of the surrounding area. Without gentrification, there could be no WY.

    So there are four good things, I challenge you to list the bad things that gentrification causes. Wait, I'll list a few to get things going

    1) Gentrification causes an increase in traffic
    2) Gentrification leads to destruction of architecturally beautiful buildings.

  37. My guess is 30% would step up to recieve help (work or education/training) and 70%would would rebel your not enabling them anymore.

    Well this is actually the crux of the problem of social services. Many people in uptown are either not mentally competant, or are addicted to drugs. Neither group of people could possibly be integrated into society. The broader question, which Saskia is always willing to discuss nicely, is how do deal with those people? How do we identify the ones who are truly down on their luck versus the ones who are abusing the system? How do we find the ones who are so far gone that they have slipped out of the system. Its an extremely difficult problem with many facets.

  38. I dunno. I don't think it's necessary to exploit the plight of the homeless. They are for whatever reason and they are very hard to help, no matter how much aid they get. And they have absolutely no say or no way of knowing that they are inadvertently being posted on a blog. They were here before I moved to Uptown and they will be around when I leave.
    They're also not running around the neighborhood shooting at one another.

  39. man on the street,

    I commend you for making a post doing exactly what I thought was necessary for this thread.

    And thanks for pointing out the board is "Uptown Update." I hadn't noticed. I'm sure you noticed the second sentence about a disproportionate number of the general problems highlighted by the pictures exist in Uptown. I think we're all becoming very jaded...

  40. There is no reason for homeless people in the USA other than they don't want to utilize the help and services socially that are available to them or they don't want to get help for their mental conditioins.

    Also they don't want to get a job.

    Screw them Uptown is for us hard working tax payers.

  41. I think Uptown can accomodate people from the entire socio-economic spectrum, but I am sick of this term "displacement". Most recent study of gentrification shows that "displacement" is a myth. So instead of fighting gentrification, you are actually discriminating against a certain group of residents, and that is illegal. "Racial Steering" was made illegal in the days of the civil rights movement, but now it's alright to say white middle-class homeowners can't live in Uptown? Helen Shiller, ONE, and COURAJ should be ashamed of themselves for promoting this hatred.

  42. first off, you can't accuse people because they don't place as much importance on YOUR cause as on someone else's.

    some people want to work hard to help the homeless, some people want to work on the environment, so on and so on. who is to say what cause is more viable than another? the only thing YOU should worry about is what is important to YOU. that is where you will work the hardest and that is where you will do the most good.

    i am a white condo owner, but certainly didn't move here to set up the fourth reich, i moved here because i work for a non-for-profit arts organization and can't afford to live many other places unless i want to be in the suburbs.

    onelovetnt, you keep doing your work and encourage people to keep doing their work, but don't tell them what causes they are supposed to spend their time on, and what people can and can't have an opinion on.

  43. Chipdouglas

    I have no reason to post on here under a different name. I'm not afraid of what you or anyone else has to say about how I feel. I have one username and that's dacutestmama. So please stop accusing me of using any other name. I guess onelovent intimidates you in the same ways that I do. But to be perfectly honest I have never read a posting that you wrote or maybe i just don't remember. But considereing the fact that you've been a user since August I don't think we know each other very well at all. So for you to past judgement on me it may be the case that you in fact have more than one username!!! Or perhaps onelovent is you!! Just a thought.

  44. Windy...addicts only get better when they want to, after hitting rock bottom. They have to want to, some peoples bottom is very low. Until they hit that and make an effort to turn their lives around it is pointless to try to help-it's just enabling, keeping the cycle going (this is my view). I have one major problem with the shelters around here-they register everyone many many who do not stay in Uptown (Brendon Shillers-streetwise) for the specific purpose of voting for Shiller. Hey if your hearts in the right place and you think your helping that's great, that's between you and God. I don't have to agree with your methods or approach.

  45. dacutestmama...

    you and onelovetnt are the only posters who use multiple exclamation points in ALL your post. You both use two and three and even four after your say "WHY!!!!" And your past arguments and her current ones are almost verbatim. Your the same person. Now what kind of job do you work at "helping homeless" that allows you "both" to blog all day? How many homeless people needed your help in the time it took you to post? Funny how you noticed my post hours later and bunched up in 45 posts.

    It is ok to have different opinions on here. You don't have create a different name to validate that opinion.

    Have a fantastic day. Oh...!!!!

  46. To address Onelovetnt posts regarding the homeless in Uptown...

    If Wilson Yard were to be built exactly to the specifications desired by Helen Shiller, will the displaced homeless of Uptown get first crack at the new housing?

    I'm curious to know how this particular issue would be addressed.

  47. chipdouglas...

    Here, here! Having been dealt a similar hand and made similar decisions, I agree with you, and applaud you!

  48. Uptown isn't the first neighborhood to gentrify or have conflicts in doing so. Maybe we can take some lessons from what they've done right or wrong

    Before Bucktown, Wicker Park and West Town were not always the hipster yuppie havens they are now. At one point they were gang, crime and homeless ridden. There was a lot of conflict and backlash as the neighborhood changed - and I'm not saying I have any desire for Uptown to become anything like those neighborhoods. But history can be a n educator.

    Do block/community organizations talk to each other. Are there neighborhoods we would like to model ourselves after?

    It just seems more prudent to create a plan, a goal, a positive momentum based on education then it does to bicker back and forth like this.

  49. You have the right inclination, Dana, but Uptown is just a whole different beast. Uptown is Uptown partially because Lincoln Park got to be Lincoln Park. The Shillerites amassed so much political power because groups that might have otherwise expressed animosity against each other(i.e., Appalachian Whites, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans and Blacks) came to see themselves as having a common experience. This "rainbow" coalition that organized around class lines was pretty unique for a city like Chicago---especially in how it was able to endure over many municipal elections. Other neighborhoods in Chicago don't have quite this same legacy/narrative and tradition of resistance. Other neighborhoods also experienced their changes much later. I don't believe that these neighborhoods were targeted for as much 'urban renewal' during King Daly I.

  50. Farrell
    aparaently their is talk of a Holsten,inc. memo that gives first crack to section-8 and people "displaced" from Rockwell Gardens, Cabrini Green. Not positive on all the details, have not seen the memo myself.

  51. Uptown Pits...

    Thanks that's interesting, and I wonder if its true.

    I always like to know if our 'leaders' put their money where their mouth is. I mean, since us evil condo owners supposedly kicked out a bunch of poor people who are now homeless because of us, I'm curious to know what Shiller is doing to get them new homes and protect them from the likes of me!


  52. You all are HOT! I think everyone needs to go to a different post and cool down a little. The next one who comments on this post is going to get a time out. Gee Wilikers.

  53. uptown pits wrote: "[apparently there] is talk of a Holsten,inc. memo that gives first crack to section-8 and people "displaced" from Rockwell Gardens, Cabrini Green. Not positive on all the details, have not seen the memo myself."

    It's true, the letter exists. I couldn't believe it when I first saw it, but Holsten really did put it on paper. Wilson Yard is going to be filled primarily with people from public housing and section eight voucher waiting lists.

  54. Do you think Peter Holsten would develop a property at substantial risk at Division and Clybourn WITHOUT a plan to relocate the the local population?

    WY is Holsten's temporary holding facility.

  55. Homeless Heaven.....

    I have been a homeowner in this area for years. I do a lot or traveling all over the city. I see many areas that are really great and beautiful. I would like to know why our area has all the problems it has being with all the good people that live here. Gangs and homeless heaven. I think the difference is who we have as a leader of our area and that does not say much for the alderwomen that has her office right in the heart of uptown. Maybe she has too mnay papers blocking her view on the windows. The area is only as good as the leaders that run it. I hope when election time comes for alderman we do something about it and get a responsible one who meets our needs.........