Thursday, May 14, 2009

Take It To The Park

A reader sends in the following memo and information:
"Attached is a memo (click to enlarge) given to residents of Miriam Apartments, the SRO at 4707 (address corrected) N. Malden that has long been a poorly managed (Mercy Housing Lakefront) building at the corner of Malden and Leland. The memo was given to me by a woman who lives at Miriam Apartments and she has long complained about the illegal activity of "about 10 women" who continually stand on the corner prostituting and conducting drug activity. We should remember that there are many ladies living there who need these services and are good neighbors, but who are as frustrated as their neighbors around them about the "bad apples" who are involved in illegal behavior and who make it a frustrating living experience for everyone else living in and around Miriam Apartments. Many who live there are intimidated by the women involved in the illegal activity, and know that management is not serious about any of the illegal activity, unless it might affect their funding.

The person who gave this to me said that everyone basically threw the memo away and laughed it off, knowing that the alderman's office protects them. It is notable that the memo avoids any statement that illegal behavior will not be tolerated at Miriam Apartments, but instead encourages them to just walk down the street or go to the park, where one assumes they can solicit their wares there instead."


  1. Rofl,
    this iz joke raight? like lolcats raight? take a nice walk?! wha!?
    beware they will come with nicely written letters.oh god!
    stalk u much?

    all joking aside.
    strongly urging people to stay inside or take a nice walk because standing on the corner makes them look like whores is condescending and rude no matter how nicely the letter is written. in fact it's down right patronizing. i can't believe someone didn't punch her in the face. and i'm not being mean i'm just shocked she got away with it with just a few chuckles. they must have thought it was a joke too, lol.

  2. hey, if cop watch can go out and take pictures of the police doing their duty, trying to "protect and serve" our community, then i think it's only fair that we get to take pictures of our local hookers and crack addicts on the corner! you can send them to all your friends and relatives! create a photo album! they make GREAT uptown souvenirs.

  3. Please don`t send them our way as we got enough hookers and drug dealers standing around in the parks west of LSD. I have called numerous times the city police and they say to call the park district police. I called Shillers office and they told me people have the right to hang out in and around the park too, day or night and if it bothers me so much I should move to a area I like better.
    I oh well I guess I will have to direct my complaints to the new alderman once we vote you out which is not too long away.....

  4. Sr. Lillian Murphy, RSM, Mercy's CEO, might be interested in hearing from people living near that area and perhaps having a copy of this letter.

    Her address is
    1999 Broadway, Suite 1000
    Denver, CO 80202

  5. Governor Tarkin: Princess Leia, before your execution, you will join me at a ceremony that will make this battle station operational. No star system will dare oppose the Emperor now.

    Princess Leia: The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

    Princess, Governor, Emporer and the battle station...I wonder what parts Daley, Heartland Alliance, Shiller and Wilson Yard would be cast in our little Uptown production of Star Wars.

  6. OMG! This basically says: Yeah, we know you are all hookers and drug dealers, but just take it down to the park please....

  7. Michael is right. I live around the corner from these apartments, and there are always people hanging out at that corner (which, as pointed out, they have a right to do). However, I have witnessed some questionable activities taking place, and I will be more than happy to be vigilant with my camera.


    Attn: Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM

    Dear Ms. Murphy,

    I'm writing to you regarding a memo sent out to residents living at the Miriam Apartments at 4707 N. Malden Ave. in Chicago, IL. The memo, sent out on May 7th, 2009 by property manager Mary Harth, is regarding residents involved in alleged illegal activity just outside the building. Numerous complaints from residents of this building as well as from the community surrounding it have resulted in the memo that is attached to this email. The illegal activity going on here is alleged to be prostitution and drug activity. I'm not certain what your position is on Mercy Housing being associated with these activities. However, it appears not to be of much concern to Ms. Harth - aside from asking the residents to walk down the street or sit in a park. The memo never suggests that such activity would not be tolerated or even discouraged by Mercy Housing . I, personally, find it appalling that this memo appears to encourage Mercy Housing residents to take activity such as prostitution and drug activity to the parks where our neighborhood children play. It leaves me questioning the mission Mercy Housing is trying to accomplish in our neighborhood. It also leaves me wondering how your donors such as Bank of America, Citi Foundation, Equity Residential, Fannie Mae, The Home Depot Foundation, and US Bank would feel about having their reputations associated with this type of illegal activity.


  9. You again demonstrated the awesome power of UU on its 2nd anniversary no less. Thanks!

  10. The good sister's direct phone # is 303.830.3442 Give her a jingle.
    + On Monday, a resident of the Miriam was accosted and threatened with death in front of the Miriam. The guy was arrested and will go to trial on 6/3. The victim was asked why she didn't go back inside the Miriam. She said the attacker was a crack dealer and had access to the Miriam. She said if she had gone back inside he could "Get her." Nice

  11. Wasn't a resident once murdered and set on fire here?

  12. Here's an e-mail I sent to Mercy Housing about a year ago. They forwarded the e-mail to the Miriam Manager, but as far as I know nothing else was done.

    To whom it may concern,

    I met a woman today who lives in my neighborhood. She is a resident at “The Miriam,” a Mercy supportive housing building at 1207 Malden Street in Chicago. She said she was concerned about saying too much because in the past she received an eviction notice soon after speaking out about something that upset her, but she had plenty to say.

    She went on to explain that one night a bus arrived in front of The Miriam. Staff from the Miriam went through the building, forcing everyone to get on the bus, against their will. A friend of hers had just come back from the hospital, having had surgery a day or two before. That woman, still weak, was also forced to board the bus with no heat in freezing temperatures, gone for what she said was a few hours.

    Once on the bus, someone explained to them what they would be doing. The bus was taking them to a protest of Alderman Mary Ann Smith’s home. (not her office, but her home) See the link to the news story below:

    The Organizations of the Northeast (O.N.E.) had planned the event. ONE is a social service “advocacy” group, which organizes protests around the city. They have a reputation for doing very devious things, but this story made my jaw drop in disbelief.

    My point in sending this e-mail is that O.N.E. is partially funded by contributions from your organization and thought you might want to be aware of what they may be doing to your residents “for the cause.” In my opinion, (if her story is in fact true) this is forced labor of the formerly homeless, which I’m sure your organization would want to be aware of and want to get to the bottom of immediately.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  13. A few years ago O.N.E. burned Mary Ann Smith in effigy at one of their annual meetings.

    Nice group. ;-)

  14. Once agian, comments cab be sent to

  15. On my way home from work- Sunday morning 2:30 a.m. there were 4 women, all black, from the ages of late 20's to mid 60's on this corner. When I stopped at the stop sign on Leland and Malden, two of them did the "wave" and one of them came right up to my window and asked, "Want to party?"
    I've written about this on this blog in the past- when will these get the help that they need? I assume that a $25 blow job will only pay for more drugs.
    The upsetting thing is that they have also asked me for "parties" during the DAY as I've been walking by here.
    It's very sad that these women have to do this to support whatever drug they are hooked on. Is there some social service that is interested in trying to help these women?
    If not can they be kicked out of this building for illegal activity?
    I do not want these women and their John's messing up my 'hood or my parks.

  16. M&M Block Club!!
    Can you resend to the ? Denver is saying never been told of a problem


  18. It is Monday night, May 18 at 9 pm. I just took my dogs for a walk and had to pass through about 15 people at the corner of Malden and Leland. There were the usual Miriam Apt. hookers....Deb, Diane (blonde brush cut) and Cecilia Weeks with her skirt barely covering her butt. Each one had a male with them, and I walked into a drug deal just as I walked outside with one of the Miriam ladies. The bird calls began instantly from the surrouunding building and they all scatttered in different directions (they know that I am an avid 911 caller). My roommate heard the calls and came out to make sure I was ok. We called 911 a few times and no one ever came, and we had a very rude dispatcher who literally yelled at us when we called the first time and had to request a superviser.

    On another related the note, the woman who provided the information for the original posting has received death threats from one of the pimps of the Miriam Apt. women.

    This is really ridiculous and disgusting and I am not looking forward to yet another year of this. One has to wonder, with year after year of the SAME women so easily seen at all times of day soliciting for prostitution and purchasing drugs how they are never arrested and Miriam Apt. management continues to turn a blind eye?

  19. isn't it true that at least drug offenders cannot live in public housing? the city of chicago does these sort of evictions...which could explain why it's not happening. maybe helen is stopping it?

  20. p.s. sorry you had to deal w/ that tjm.

  21. Please contact Mercy Housing at: (please note corrected email address "buenapk").

    Also, if you are on Facebook, go to Mercy Hosuing's Facebook page and post a comment under one of their congratulatory posts about their donations and share with their fans the REAL story of hiow their donations are being used at the Miriam Apartment location!

  22. Laura...

    This is the article re: the murder at Miriam Apts., but I don't have a date (month/year) on the copy of the article I saved:


    An early-morning weekend fire in an Uptown apartment may have been a smokescreen for murder, police and fire officials said Monday. The strangled body of Antoinette Starling, 40, was found in her second-floor apartment in the 4700 block of North Malden at 6 a.m. Sunday. Chicago firefighters discovered Starling's body, and she died en route to a local hospital. The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

  23. buenapk, thank you. Below is the e-mail I sent, along with the original concern.

    To whom it may concern,

    A neighbor suggested I resend the e-mail below because your office was “never told there was a problem.” I was never looking for a response, but believed it was the responsible thing to advise you. The response (below) I did receive showed me, however, that at least Jennifer Feuer and possibly Mary Harth have no problem with this being part of your “mission” to treat residents in this way.


    Hello *******,

    My name is Jennifer Feuer and I am the Resident Services Manager at the Miriam Apts. I was made aware of your concern about some alleged issues going on at the building. I am more than happy to meet with you to discuss how our building runs, our mission, and any concerns you may have. I am unable to discuss any specific tenants with you due to confidentiality guidelines however. My colleague and Property Manager of the building, Mary Harth is currently out of town, but when she returns we could both meet with you if you would find that helpful. We are always happy to connect with our neighbors. Thank you for voicing your concerns and I look forward to meeting with you in person. You can e mail back or feel free to call my direct line at (312) 447-4583.

    Jennifer Feuer
    Resident Services Manager
    Mercy Housing Lakefront

  24. Rep. Greg Harris has contacted both national HQ and local property managers on our behalf to set up a meeting between concerned residents and Miriam Apt. "managers" within the next few weeks to demand that they work on some of the key issues listed below:
    --a plan to monitor illegal activity
    --refuse access to the pimps and drug dealers that come and go in and out of their building all day
    --conduct drug testing on their residents and evict those who fail
    --provide concrete steps to being a better neighbor, starting with no loitering on the corner and on neighbors' properties.

    It is unfortunate that once again that so many of us community residents who are busy with our own jobs and other community issues have to do the job of managing Mercy Housing as well.

  25. It's also unfortunate that a state representative has to step in to do a city alderman's job.

    I mean, this is a classic example of how a competent alderman should be working within her community.

    Wonder if the extra work entailed by Helen's lack of effort has made Greg regret endorsing her last election?

  26. that's really great that Rep. Harris is stepping up -- in budget season and all!

    and yes, evict those who fail the drug test! they can do random drug testing too... no notice is needed. condition of public housing.

  27. I may wrong but I believe The
    Alderbeast does not allow drug testing in the 46th ward.

  28. If this is a "faith-based" institution (and if it's being run by an order of nuns I surmise that it is), then there should be some kind of active program on site for counseling, rehab, etc. If not, why on earth are people that are presumably dedicated to setting people on the straight-and-narrow ignoring the needs of their residents? WWJD???

  29. Just saw Cecilia Weeks (mentioned by tjm) being hauled off by the police screaming "Pull up my pants." Why is she still in Miriam? I haven't seen the 'ladies' around recently and thought things were getting better. I guess not.
    Has anyone heard back from Jennifer Feuer or Mary Harth?