Friday, August 22, 2008

Seating For CTA Customers Only?

Pay no attention to the sign posted in the bus stop. A reader sent us this photo today from Sheridan and Wilson and noted that at least three 151 Sheridan buses passed by with these ladies who appeared to be in no big hurry to get where they were going.


  1. My sadness at seeing people who apparently live on the street is tempered by the fact that this photo appears to be taken just outside Uptown Baptist Church... a women's shelter.

  2. It IS saddening. We also have to remember that some homeless people cannot read; therefore, signs like these are useless.

  3. Move two blocks north to Lawrence and Sheridan, add copious amounts of alcohol, and you have a similar scene there... it is very intimidating to the regular folks that just need to take a bus to get to work.... too bad no one seems to care and think this is a problem.... Hello Police, CTA and Shiller?

  4. Honestly, I don't know why people keep snapping photos like this. Given the high concentration of people in need in Uptown, this isn't going away. I'm tired of seeing pictures of them on UU. I see them every day in real time. It's a reminder of how sad life can be.

  5. The people in need aren't going away. "There will be poor always," a better Man than I said a long time ago.

    But what we can do is figure out a better way for them to exist than camping out at bus stops, ignoring the shelter that's steps away.

    THAT'S where the change needs to come.

    If you're sick of seeing the homeless on "Uptown Update" and on the streets of Uptown, I don't think saying you're sick of the situation is the best solution. Ignoring them won't make them go away. Do what you can to help them. Don't give to panhandlers. Contribute to the few organizations that actually help them, not enable them. Vote for legislation and legislators that have a clue.

    Just saying "I'm sick of seeing them" and "they'll always be here" isn't doing anyone any good.

  6. Too bad they fenced off lower Wacker we need place for them to go out of sight, out of mind.

    Frankly, there is help if these people want help most are mentally ill and don't want help or don't want to meet the rules of the programs.

    So I don't feel sorry for them one bit period.

    Law abiding citizens go to work every day to pay the bills and follow the bosses rules even if we don't like them and we also follow the laws of the USA even if we don't like them so I don't feel sorry for anyone.

    And the point of the picture is the police aren't enforcing the rules they should be.

    If a clean white guy passed out from drinking or was locked out of his house drunk by accident you can bet the police would kick me off the bus bench.

  7. UPSboy, there is a great solution if you do not like seeing them on UU... um, dont read UU

    This is a fact of life in Uptown. And it need not be so. It is fairly naive to think if we do not document and comment on a problem it will just magically go away.

    This is a real problem in Uptown, affecting real people with real jobs that are just trying to pay the rent and feed their children.

    If one cannot feel safe at a bus stop in Uptown, then I suggest we place these photo's at every opportunity! I have personally witnessed fights, beer cans being thrown at cars, drug deals, etc at these bus stops. I have called police and done my duty as a citizen.

    I will continue to do so and hope everyone else does too! GO UU!

  8. Agree with upsboy. What's the point of this pic? We're mad at the homeless for being homeless? People always say things like, "there are places to go for people like this" Ummmm....have any of you worked with MI or homeless people. Yeah, there are lots of shelters, but you can't just walk over to the Rest shelter on Lawrence and expect to get in. No, they have a lottery system and there is no guarantee of a bed. Sure, they can go over to Weiss or a police station and call 311 to get DHS to take them to another shelter, but DHS often doesn't show up until the next day, and they may take you to any part of the city. You run the risk of ending up on the other side of the city with no money. You may lose what few belongings you have maintained. Of course, substance abuse and mental illness are undoubtedly factors, but If you think complaining that homeless sleep on benches is gonna fix the problem........

  9. uptown superhero said:

    "If one cannot feel safe at a bus stop in Uptown, then I suggest we place these photo's at every opportunity!"

    Maybe I am looking at a different picture than you because I don't find these two to be threatening to my safety in the slightest! A threat to my hygiene perhaps, but not my safety.

  10. Uptown Superhero:
    I have no intention of not reading UU. For the most part it's filled with great information about what is happening in the neighborhood.. Having lived here for 11 years, I certainly don't need to be informed that there were 2 homeless people at the bus stop. Anyone that lives here has seen their share of homeless individuals. What purpose does it serve to constantly publish their photos in a blog.

    And to Tygerkub... I didn't say I was sick of seeing them, I said I was tired of seeing them. I was referring to the pictures, not the people.

    I do support local organizations. It's not going to force people to use these options. I don't have the answer and obviously nobody else does.

    Tell me what purpose is served by posting pictures of homeless people on UU which is a blog for well informed Uptown Neighbors. It's really not new news is it. It accomplishes nothing, does it.

  11. As an aside, (and in no way related to the folks pictured), my bike was locked to the iron fence in the background yesterday while I was having lunch with friends at Pollo Loco.

    Luckily for me the restaurant's security guard stopped a would-be thief as she tried to nab my wheels. She ran off to 'shop' elsewhere. One more reason to love that restaurant!

  12. If you can't see the irony and futility of Uptown's current situation in a picture of two homeless people sleeping on a bench, in front of a homeless shelter, right under a sign that says the bench is for the purpose of CTA customers only (where on earth are those signs found outside of Uptown?), well, then, I can't possibly begin to explain to you why this picture is "necessary" or "what its purpose is."

  13. Tygerkub, what makes you assume these people are homeless?

  14. Oh, Otto. You sweet little contrarian.

    When I want to take a nap, I do it at home, not at a bus shelter.

    When I want to sit down and watch the world go by, I sit in front of my home.

    When I want a place to store my belongings, I leave them at home, rather than put them into plastic bags and a cart and carry them around with me while I sit and sleep on bus stop benches, from where I watch all the buses go by without getting on one.

    Maybe you're different. Maybe your home doesn't have a bed, or a chair, or a front stoop, or a dresser. Maybe your home does have these features and you just prefer to sit at bus stops and sleep at bus stops and haul most of what you own around with you 24/7.

    But I'm betting MOST people who do these things are homeless.


    I contacted Shillers office and her staff said, theres not much they can do if these people refuse help. Seems fuuny they do everywhere else in the city and uptown has the largest amount of street people I can see anywhere. I contaced the police at addison and halsted and they said they have rights to hang around and they can do nothing and contact Shillers office. What a joke. Well when election time comes lets make the joke on her and vote is a person who cares and is willing to solve our uptown area problems....

  16. TygerKub said...

    "Oh, Otto. You sweet little contrarian."

    I know, I'm adorable that way.

  17. Do these people know they're being patronized by their community? This is just not polite no matter how downtrodden people might be. Perhaps (!!!) they are here because they are somehow being helped.

    Can't people who have more be kind?

  18. This is just not polite no matter how downtrodden people might be.

    When the homeless start being polite to me and my family, I'll stop pointing them out. My wife refuses to run through that section of Uptown because she's sick of getting harrased by the homeless. I guess if you don't have a home its cool to just sexually harass all the women you want.

  19. When the homeless start being polite to me and my family, I'll stop pointing them out.

    So are these the two who weren't polite to you and your wife? Because even if they aren't, well, you know how they ALL are...

  20. Interesting how posting a picture with the faces blurred out is somehow "patronizing" and "rude" -- but if a citizen objects to being sexually harassed or the victim of aggressive panhandling -- that's bigoted?

  21. The fact that the reality is upsetting is precisely why these photos need to be posted. The homeless people aren't the problem though. It's all the shelters in the area that draw in the huge numbers of homeless people to Uptown that are the real problem.

    These photos highlight the real problem. Keep posting them, UU! It's suppose to be embarrassing. I don't believe for a nano second that Helen can't do anything about it. God forbid if Tom Tunney or Mary Ann Smith gave that type of excuse! They would be tarred and feathered in no time.

    We need to make sure Senator Cullerton who adores Helen gets wind of UU. We know the list is growing of UU readers. The more readers, the more powerful.

  22. holy moley said...
    The fact that the reality is upsetting is precisely why these photos need to be posted. The homeless people aren't the problem though. It's all the shelters in the area that draw in the huge numbers of homeless people to Uptown that are the real problem.

    Thanks for reminding me I need to send another donation to REST.

  23. Thanks UU for putting the spotlight what needs to be fixed in our government's cock-eyed system of helping the homeless.

    This photo says it all. Throwing the homeless out on the street at dawn to roam the streets until nightfall perpetuates the hopelessness of being homeless.

    Our government is so entrenched in the failed and fragmented social service agency model, it doesn't see that it actually is part of the homeless problem in America.

    So how do you fix it? The Inspiration Cafe right here in Uptown, the Greystone Bakery in Yonkers NY, have got it right.

    Social Entrepreneurship is a fancy word for give folks a safe and stable place to live, teach them a craft, create community and amazing things can happen.