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Added Jan 06 2013

I've only lived in the Irving Park/Albany Park area for just over 3 months now. Just south of Montrose and north of Cullom on Kedzie. Nevertheless since moving here I have ran into a homeless man that really gives me the heebie jeebies. He's probably in his upper 40's, seems to have some sort of mental incapacity, and either has very strained and hurt vocal chords or has no speech at all. I usually see him along Kedzie and he has no problem scaring the crap out of someone if they walk past him while he is sleeping in an entrance way to a building. I don't mean any disrespect to the homeless community or to any persons with disabilities, however has anybody else seen this man, know what is going on with him, and if it is someone to be concerned with?


  • I don't have anything big to contribute here but I had an interaction with this man over the summer. I was waiting for a friend on her front stoop and he came up to me and sat right next to me. He asked me a few questions but his speech is so compromised I had no idea what he was asking me. For fear of him getting mad at me for not responding I decided to get up and walk away. I was waiting for a friend so I didn't want to walk too far and he stood in front of her house and was adamant about waiting for me. I kept standing between cars "looking for a cab" and he would move around trying to find me. All this to say he doesn't seem to want to harm anyone- I would say our entire encounter lasted about 10-15 minutes so I would think had he wanted to do something he would have.

  • If he has a goatee., he is the local not all there guy. Can be dangerous if pissed off.

  • Flew That Chicago born & raised. You can come home again!

    For the veddy, veddy PC, the correct term is undomiciled. Yep, seriously.

  • Joan M. Back in Lincoln Square and liking it.

    Sounds like interacting with him would creep me out, for sure. I'd give him a wide berth. And no one likes to see people sleeping in doorways. But I'm not sure how that would constitute "scaring the crap" out of a passerby. Can someone describe a specific instance when he has acted in a dangerous manner?

    I call 911 when I see people sleeping/passed out on the sidewalk or in vestibules. They usually transfer me to fire/rescue. Short term "solution" only, I know.

  • Mike K in Old Irving Kedzie Newcommer

    Joan - It's usually when you're walking past him and he hears you. He will suddenly start yelling and making hand gestures at you, and I'd usually just brush it off - but there is no understanding what he is saying. I'll keep that in mind though, thanks.

  • inssane North Sider since 1981

    If you ever feel threatened though, call the cops.
    There are lots of people in this neighborhood that are homeless/"not quite right" in the head. We have no public mental health care, ya know...

    Some guy on my block came up to me and my pit bull a few months ago making all kinds of karate moves, and making noises as he got withing 3 feet of us. My dog and I looked at each other and I said to the guy "can I help you?" (because I was super confused myself) - he ended up calming down and complementing my dog on his red colored fur, I was friendly and that was that.
    I have lived here for 6+ years and I never realized that there is some kind of group home down my block, and that's where he came from.

    Just be careful, and yes it's rude, but having lived my whole life in the city you learn to ignore or walk away from some people. It's just best many times.

  • Joan M. Back in Lincoln Square and liking it.

    Mike, charming! I hate that kind of stuff. Such a crummy urban experience. Give me the hard core drunks who congregate a block from me when the weather is nicer to socialize, vomit and pass out on the sidewalk. But they never menace anyone! Ah, life in the big city.

  • Bigsneakertees Addicted to everything Chicago

    I know this dude and he is crazy , everytime I see him I go the other way because I know he's going to get aggressive when I don't answer . A few months ago I was in the gas station on kedzie and Montrose and he walked up to me with his hand out and started yelling at me , in fear I went to the trunk and got my baseball bat to defend myself and when he saw the bat he got strong like superman , I decided in order to not hurt this dude or him hurt me I went back into the gas station and called the cops , who never came.

  • Ray Lifelong Chicagoan

    If you call the police and tell them there is a vagrant most likely it is not an emergency. However, if you call and say suspicious person, provide dispatch with description, color of clothes, etc...and more than likely a unit will be there in a few minutes.

  • Has anybody contacted a city agency which in turn would try to help this guy if homeless and mentally impaired? Maybe he needs help. Remember, we are all not exempt of suffering a catastrophic event in our lives (God forbid) which might leave us homeless and/or mentally impaired. Don't get me wrong, but if he is a threat, one has the right to call the cops, but at the same time, let's not turn a blind eye on a fellow human being.

  • I understand the feeling. I used to live on the corner of Kedzie and Wilson. In the winter of 2009, there used to be various homeless males who would sleep in the doorway of my apartment building. Not sure if these guys are the same because I never saw their faces. I had an encounter with 2 drunk guys drinking in the doorway and then urinating in front of the building. Don't live there now.

  • Toni B

    Everyone that is not like me makes me uncomfortable. You know what I mean? Hahaha :)

  • Yes, I have seen him around many times and in different areas. I treated him to lunch once upon my invitation. I have seen him in a variety of states, but believe he his harmless. He may be under the influence of something when he appears aggressive, so to speak. I find kindness and compassion always prevail.

  • Jaguar in Irving Park Active Neighbor, Mom, 8 year Irving Park resident

    I think for anyone that this homeless mentally ill man scares or frightens, they are completely within their right to call 911, if they feel threatened.
    However, I'm sure the man is mentally ill and is in desparate need of some help.
    So here's my good samartian idea for 2013: the next time any of us runs across ANY Vagrant/Homeless person from now until the end of May we should call it in to 311 and report them. That way hopefully, the city can get them into homeless shelters and City Warming Centers for the night. So they don't freeze to death, literally.
    I'm sure if I ran across him with my kids this guy would creep me out too.
    Let's just call them in & try to get them a little help and kindness.

  • inssane North Sider since 1981

    If anyone thinks that this city will help these homeless, you either haven't been in Chicago long enough, or you have illusions of grandeur.
    Some choose to be homeless and that's a fact. It's also a fact that some don't go to homeless shelters because there is no drug/alcohol use permitted and/or there are lots of thefts at those places (duh).

  • Joel Resident of Roosevelt High School area

    If he has a constant glaring expression across his face then I know who you're talking about. His name is Gordon. He comes to my church from time to time and we try to help him out. He has really opened up to me because I live in the neighborhood and we run into each other all the time My friend and I have driven him to where he stays on Broadway and Irving, but he seems to stay out way too much and hanging with a taller guy names Steve. I know him on a personal level, so I obviously don't feel threatened by him, but I have seen him aggravated and shouting on the sidewalk and have had to calm him down. He is not a fighter (he was shouting that time because he had just been suckerpunched by some guy and Steve had to fight him off), so I wouldn't expect him to initiate violence. His main problem is alcohol as far as I know. I don't see him addicted to drugs so that's good. Honestly like the rest of us, he just needs a friend and he soaks it up whenever I sit and listen to him. If you do feel threatened though that's what 911 is for.
    There is a guy on Montrose and St. Louis who is constantly drinking and will yell and curse pretty loudly. His name is Louie aka "Dogface" and he's not a menace either. He's can be a little annoying, but I've seen him with a broom just sweeping the whole sidewalk in the morning, so I guess that's nice. That's what I know; hope that helps.

  • I think he is the same guy that hangs around California Park and walks between Kedzie and California. Goatee and curly brown hair, light colored eyes. He used to be over here south of Irving Park more often. He makes barking noises at the dogs as we walk. I always say hello back to him if he grunts hello to me figuring ignoring him might be a bad thing. Then I quickly move along to get away. I saw him the other day bugging the garbage truck guys. I waved at them to not talk to him but go back to work. That usually makes him move along.

  • Two things.

    1. In the November elections, we had a referendum to raise our property taxes in the area to build out a mental health facility near the river. It passed. Not sure if you saw the young women going door to door to get it on the ballot in the summer. I did and I signed it. Hopefully that may start to alleviate some of the problem in the area for the mentally ill. But it is chronic. Many of them sleep in California Park, or the underpass at Belmont and Kedzie.

    2. Mentally ill homeless don't want to go into the shelter. Part of the mental illness is that they do not believe that they are sick. They don't like the rules, don't want to give up their drugs or alcohol so they would rather go at it alone on the streets. I know this first hand. My brother was mentally ill, a drug addict and homeless. We tried over and over again to get him help but he took off and hitchhiked out to San Francisco, CA. He died on the street in 1994. The only way we can ever change this is to give families the power back to place their loved ones in a facility-this was taken away starting about 40 years ago when outpatient drugs replaced in-patient treatment. It is too easy for the patient after a 5 day stay to sign themselves out because of their "rights." Families cannot force their loved ones to take their meds. As soon as the patient takes their meds, they feel better and then stop taking them because they believe they are no longer sick and the cycle continues.

  • B sighthound, Avondale/LoganS 3years, Beat 2524

    Unfortunately the number of armed service veterans who are becoming homeless is growing rapidly. Most suffer from PTSD and the VA doesn't seem to be able to get a handle on it. Please use best judgement when dealing with " undomiciled" as they may have had combat training and remind your politicians we need to take care of those that THEY put in harms way.

  • amekami77 amekami77

    I have seen this guy, asleep at the church doors on Troy (Our Lady of Mercy Church, near Kedzie /Montrose). This guy was super creepy, and I was concerned, his is right next to my daughters school, 4:30pm, after school activities were coming out.

  • I live near Kedzie and Sunnyside and know exactly who you are talking about. I have wondered if he has Tourette's as he suddenly and loudly screams out for no apparent reason. He is strange but has never tried to approach or speak to me or my family and I've considered him harmless. I've seen him around since I moved to the area about 5 years ago.

  • Flew That ... For what it's worth, undomiciled is merely a "politically correct" euphemism much like friendly fire, collareral damage, sanitary engineer, etc., but a rose but any other name is still arose.

  • loraine t washington 5 yr. resident

    be careful and then some.

  • Wicked Fast BMW Average Chicagoan who loves her city

    Have you tried just talking to him? I treat homeless people just like anyone else. Saying "Hello" to them costs me nothing. If they are begging, I offer them a can of soup with a spoon. There is a group home of some sort up my street and there are some pretty peculiar characters that live there but they all seem pretty harmless. I say "hello" to them, I have answered their questions about our cats (we had Cornish Rexes), I have let them sweep my sidewalk (they asked if they could, I figured "why not".). We live a pretty private life and usually stick with the don't speak until spoken to rule. No harm no foul.

  • Is this the guy that is often in front of the BP station at that intersection? A couple weeks ago as my wife and I walked by him he grabbed my coat as I walked by.

  • Probably the same guy. I have seen him hanging out on the bust stop bench there.

  • loraine t washington 5 yr. resident

    be careful.

  • Joel, would that be Gordon with curly hair who yells "I love you" to police cars? If so, I've known him for years and he does have emotional meltdowns but wouldn't hurt a fly. Can see how it might be a bit intimidating to meet him out of the blue but when he isn't agitated (he gets bullied a lot), he's very sweet.

  • I'm not sure if everyone is talking about the same guy. The guy I was thinking of doesn't really have curly hair. He is tall and thin with dark hair, and his most noticeable characteristic is his voice. He is usually talking to himself pretty loudly and has some kind of vocal impairment that makes his voice scratchy and difficult to understand.

  • I know that Guy,
    He scared the daylights out of me one day as I was getting on the bus. I don't know anything about him, but the bus driver seemed to know who he was. I guess he's been around for a while.

  • Totally harmless, his mental health is not the best, I've treated him to water and food, you have worst people outhere to worry about

  • ward greenleaf Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, Cannonball Run...

    I've seen basically 4 guys in the area. I see a short Hispanic guy(50-60 yoa) sleeping on front steps, and occasionally relieving himself of explosive diarrhea n front steps and front lawns. The 2 guys that reside in front of 7-11 at Irving Park and Kimball/bench in front for Jets Pizza/bus stops at same location, are extremely mean and confrontational. Obviously who would win in a fight is irrelevant but consider your exposure to bodily fluids should a confrontation happen. Sometimes they sneak off to Horner Park. Actually, Saturday morning I was heading e/b Montrose at California and saw a huge group of homeless exiting Horner Park. I'd hate for this area to become like the LSD overpass at Lawrence.

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