Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wilson Club Residents Being Played As Pawns?

Two aldermen's proposal to shut down Chicago's only two remaining "cubicle hotels" (chicken wire ceilings, one toilet for 20 people, and rooms smaller than a jail cell) has come under attack by a few homeless advocacy groups.

The Sun-Times is doing a series on the Ewing Annex and Wilson Club Men's Hotel, and after a few articles about the Ewing Annex on South Clark Street, today the focus is on Uptown:

"Uptown Ald. James Cappleman (46th) on Tuesday accused the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless of using impoverished men — many of whom struggle with alcohol and drug addictions — as pawns in a last-ditch effort to save a pair of cubicle hotels left over from Chicago’s “Skid Row” era.

“These groups that say they are advocates for those living in extreme poverty are making the presumption that it’s this or the streets when that’s simply not true. They’re using these men and scaring them into believing it’s their only alternative,” said Cappleman, whose North Side ward includes the Wilson Club Men’s Hotel, 1224 W. Wilson.

“Many of them are very vulnerable. Some of them are at high-risk for alcohol and drug relapse and this is just sending them over the edge. This is not being an advocate. As a licensed clinical social worker who started out my practice working with men who were HIV-positive, had alcohol and drug addictions, had mental illness and who were homeless, I find this action appalling and completely unethical.”

Cappleman said he can’t believe the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless would defend the deplorable living conditions in cubicle hotels."
  Read the rest of the article here.


  1. One problem with the downtrodden industrial complex, DIC, is that they demand that NO changes be made unless every single person potentially negatively impacted by some change be taken care of in a manner which improves their condition.

    To put it more simply "help everyone in those hotels or help no one."

    That's why they keep losing battles. They don't believe in change or compromise. They're the moral equivalent of the "preservation" groups who don't know when and where to pick their battles. If you try to defend everything you likely will lose more in the long run than if you picked your battles more carefully.

    Now I have no doubt that a percentage of the men in these hotels will become homeless because of the hotels closing.

    Don't fool yourselves these hotels are going to close and should be closed and no matter the whining from DIC and the rest of the poverty pimp industry it's going to happen.

    Now I suspect and hope that most of the men in these hotels will get the help they need to find better housing. Some will likely end up in homeless shelters at least temporarily.

    As for the Capplemaniac his opponents would be better off working with him than trying to obstruct him at every juncture. He'd be more likely to have the time and energy to find creative solutions to problems if he wasn't battling uncompromising idiots on a daily basis.

    One way or the other the Wilson Club is going bye bye. One way or the other the Maryville property is going bye bye and a tower will be built there. One way or the other the problematic social service agencies and shelters are going to improve or...

    You know where I'm going with that.

    In the words of Spevman from comments in the top link in this UU post:

    "Suck it bitches, change is coming...for the better."

  2. Are there any interior shots of this "hotel"? I'm curious to see how bad it is inside. I am not debating that it is bad - I just want to see it.

  3. TOTAL DUMP- It will have to go. There is no way it can survive the change that is coming.

  4. IP. One of your friends have been very active in the comments section on the sun times website. i'm guessing you'll find it pretty amusing.

  5. Ray Ray,

    I saw that. I saw that.

    Let him have his fun.

    At least two of those identities there are him.

    He likes to have conversations with himself hoping to lure someone else in.

    He does the same thing at DNAINFO.

    I guess it's comfortable for him.

    It's the commenter equivalent of his sex life. He's using his hand, he's in the dark, and he's pretending to be two people.

  6. As a nurse I have compassion for the mentally ill population however as an uptown resident who takes the red line and watches these residents buy their drugs and then go back into the hotel to say that closing the hotel might hinder their recovery is ironic.

  7. I don't know how they get around the tough Chicago fire codes? I saw the inside back in the '80s and it was decaying back then.

  8. I totaly understand that these unkept buildings have to go-but where are these people all going to go?Every low income person is not bad.Yes -these properties should all be up to code but isn't that what the owners are suppose to make sure is done.