Monday, July 19, 2021

New YWCA Location Opening at Leland and Racine, Expanding Social Services in Uptown

photo courtesy Google Streetview
If you are around Facebook enough, you will see repeated criticism of Alderman Cappleman from the same group of opponents, most of whom have been complaining nonstop for 10 years since former Alderman Helen Shiller departed.

The army of armchair critics use the same tropes, repeatedly accusing Alderman Cappleman of failing to 'care' for Uptown's poor and less able, and accusing him of 'eliminating' affordable housing. The reality on the ground, however, could not be further from the truth.

Over his 10 years in office, we have watched Alderman Cappleman work consistently to ensure that the community is filled with top-performing service providers who can help care and uplift Uptown's less affluent and less able residents.

In 2020, Alderman Cappleman worked closely with Howard Brown on their new initiatives, establishing a health center in Uptown at the former Salvation Army location at Sunnyside and Broadway, an under-construction new youth center on Irving Park (immediately south of Uptown), and a massive new health center slated to be built within the 46th Ward at 3501 N. Halsted. 

(EDIT: a fan of the blog points out that Howard Brown does not operate a clinic here. Howard Brown owns the building and maintains administrative offices at this location. Since Howard Brown pulled permits for a medical clinic at this location and there were signs for Howard Brown on the door, it was our assumption that Howard Brown also operates the clinic here. Based on research, however, it appears Howard Brown does not operate Chicago Women's Health Center (the clinic at this location) and as far as we know, there is no formal affiliation between the two. We regret the error.)

Alderman Cappleman was also a champion of the new state of the art Sarah's Circle building at Leland and Sheridan, which was completed earlier this year. And, as readers know, the Alderman has most recently worked hard to bolster Weiss Hospital's long-term viability, as well as direct a $3.1 million grant to allow Sarah's Circle to build its third building, this one at Lakeside and Sheridan.  

And now, with little fanfare, we hear that Alderman Cappleman greenlighted a new YWCA location in the former Soggy Paws space at Leland and Racine, 1148-1150 W. Leland.  

As with many of Alderman Cappleman's decisions, this was made quietly and the announcement will be met with a collective shrug from his critics.  

This move, like others before it, will serve all of Uptown's residents and will bring needed services to people who frequent that intersection. We at Uptown Update applaud it. But we expect the critics, as usual, to repeat the same time-worn criticisms and continue to spread outright false information, including the lie that the Alderman has 'eliminated' affordable housing (they can't show any examples).


  1. This post really misses the mark. The Howard Brown "health center" they reference is actually administrative offices, do they actually service patients there?

    All too recently, Uptown has had a shortage of affordable housing while multiple high-rises with sky-high rents have popped up in the neighborhood.

    I'm not saying Alderman Cappleman is out of touch, just that he does not deserve the credit or hero worship that this post lavishes on him. He's not a warrior for the low-income residents of Uptown. Sarah's Circle has been widely celebrated and acknowledged, so not sure what this author is referencing. His office has accomplished some victories for low-income residents, but it is overshadowed by the gentrification and investment in high earing properties in Uptown.

  2. Did I miss the "paid advertisement" notification for this post? And don't come for me. I'm not a Cappleman fan (primarily because he never seems to remember that the ward extends beyond Uptown, well at least when he's not trying to take credit for new development in Lakeview) but I most certainly was not a Shiller fan. And I'm certainly not someone complaining "nonstop," intermittently or even once about Shiller's departure.

  3. How many are these "critics"? IMO Uptown is getting to gentrification fast enough and I live in Lakeview and shop in Uptown along Broadway. I keep wondering, when are the bums and the homeless moving along? Who's enabling them? they hang out all up and down Broadway, even in my territory. They fall out drunk on the sidewalk. Obviously the social services agencies that are in place aren't doing a good job or else those people would be housed, getting alcoholic counseling and remedies....I think the social service agencies have fallen down on the job.

    1. You have a territory? I for one, celebrated yesterday 30 years since I landed in the US and came to live in and know Uptown. It was like I fell from another planet. But I guess that’s the charm of America and I wish it never changes. I’m sorry for you have issues and take offense with the drunkards even though you live in Lakeview. Have a good day!

    2. C, thank you.
      Lianna, take off your dalmation coat for a moment and consider that perhaps the homeless are having a difficult go of it and that everyone like yourself constantly "moving them along" is less charitable than you think?

  4. Is Cappleman paying this website out of the kickbacks he's received from developers who are intent on turning Uptown into another homogenized neighborhood?

  5. "If you are around Facebook enough,..."

    First mistake.