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Added Sep 20 2017

Ald. James Cappleman's emailed newsletter today 9/20/17 on Uptown Tent City Homeless and Viaduct Repairs:"NEWS
The construction project to repair these crumbling bridges and add new bicycle lanes are now underway. The project includes structural repairs to existing steel beams, repairs to the concrete decks, construction of new parapet walls and installation of shared-use (bicycle and pedestrian) paths on the sidewalks underneath the viaducts. Wilson and Lawrence Avenues will each temporarily be closed to vehicular traffic for a brief duration during nighttime, but not at the same time. Those who were staying under the viaducts are being assisted by the city's Department of Family & Support Services--which has had case workers on site on a daily basis for more than a month--as well as other non-profit providers who specialize in identifying and accessing shelter and permanent housing. I fully support a "Housing First" approach with the goal of finding permanent, affordable housing and then providing connections to community-based support for long-term success. I will continue to work with agencies such as DFSS and non-profits, as well as listen to the concerns of the community at large, in order to meet the needs of all members of our community."

  • Jeffrey Littleton Authenticity is the coin of the realm.

    The homeless were offered one place and one place only.
    Pacific Garden Mission.
    If people are not willing to go into a building where they feel unsafe, has bed bugs, evangelism for food, discrimination for those who are LGBTQ...then how can we dismiss those concerns?

    Pacific Garden Mission boots them out after 30 days anyway.

    The fear is real. The political spin is real. The spike in the numbers of homelessness is real. The cuts in services is real.

    We have a serious problem. And just because "activists" are making the most noise about it doesn't mean it is a fake problem or created for political reasons.

    There has been a loss of 1500 or so SRO units which were the go-to housing for this population. That is one factor but only one.

    Community mental health care for the indigent was cut in half Mayor Rahm's first year in office.

    The city changed methodologies for counting the homeless and came up with a lower number. Every other metric and the observations of practically everybody its hard to believe right...fewer homeless?

    The city hired a PR professional to head its social service agency (Morrison-Butler) for $175, 000 salary to message us. The message is working, people are buying it, that the homeless were offered a fine place and refused.

    The activists are trying to tell you it is a problem that is growing fast.

    The city is trying to tell you there are fewer homeless and they can take care of the homeless that "want it".

    The truth will come out.

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  • robin in WRP I support a 28th Amendment 4Free & Fair Elections!

    Mute - what are the improvements?

  • Jeffrey Littleton Authenticity is the coin of the realm.

    The fact is the city government is interacting less with the homeless thru services like mental health care. There is just less available.
    Less services at a time when approx. 1500 affordable SRO units disappeared.

    So we have more homelessness and fewer services.

    It is not just Uptown. There is an uptick in homelessness across Chicago, unless you are homebound or new to the city its likely you've noticed.

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  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Alderman Cappleman (or his staff in his name) chose to be non-specific in his statement. No real numbers of those helped by DFFS or those who refused help were given by Ald. Cappleman to his constituents. This was deliberate not accidental.
    This is evidence that the truth is that very few homeless took advantage of the city's offer to move them to Pacific Garden Mission. This city offer was NOT new to the homeless and offered only a very unattractive and unacceptable option to most Uptown Tent City homeless that they had already decided and every right to decide many months or years ago not to try or did try and did NOT want to repeat their bad Pacific Garden Mission experience...

    No where in Ald. Cappleman's statement is their any mention that most Uptown Tent City homeless residents REFUSED to go with DFSSt/Catholic Charities to go to the Pacific Garden Mission Shelter.

    No where does Ald. Cappleman even mention Catholic Charities or Pacific Garden mission being the ONLY city-offered shelter option for HIS Uptown homeless constituents.

    No where does alderman Cappleman mention that he was ABSENT on the Uptown Tent City viaduct area on eviction day morning 9/18, which was supposed to start at at 7am but police force was not used until 11am.

    No where does Ald. Cappleman explain his absence from something so important happening in his ward that had massive local media attention. Where was this former social worker and what was more important to him at that time on that day than city action against his own 46th Ward constituents?

    No where in Ald. Cappleman's 9/20 statement does he mentioned the CPD forced moves of the homeless from one alternative site to another, which \hhe and his staff should have known about happemend between 9/18 and before the 9/20 statement was released.

    No where does Ald. Cappleman show his oppostition to the city/CPD-forced move outs of his homeless constituents.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    No where does Ald. Cappleman reveal that he tried to ask city officials, the mayor, or CPD not to enforce city ordinances in order to house in tents (not at city expense) his homeless constituents on some acceptable city-owned land in or very near Uptown, so that the homeless may continue receiving various basic food, health care, and case management assistance using their current Uptown area resources.

    Ald. Cappleman's constitients should view this deliberate missing information from his statement as a cover up of the true facts of what Ald. Cappleman-approved city policy was and is doing Ald. Cappleman's own 46th Ward residents/constituents/and potential voters that were and are part of the Uptown Tent City homeless that the city chose not to house or leave alone.

    At various press conferences/rallies at the viaducts the Uptown Tent City homeless and their supporters could be heard repeatedly chanting "Give us a home or leave us alone!" Evidently, the less costly city option of leaving the homeless alone after they moved away from the viaduct construction area was still not a good enough option.

    Now the city and its CPD enforcers has produced a nomadic refugee-like homeless population needing a place to stay in or near Uptown under an alderman who used to be a social worker who once worked with refugees.

    The hypocrisy is newsworthy and noteworthy.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    A Mayor and city that publically and repeatedly says it is a strong "sanctuary city" for undocumented residents who move to Chicago, but is still openly hostile to homeless citizens attempting to live on vacant city or private unused property in Uptown away from a construction zone is another example of city hypocrisy in action, which is also newsworthy and noteworthy.

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  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    Lol. Careful what you ask for, Robert. Asking to be treated by pols like everyone else often just results in everyone being treated poorly.

    As for hypocrisy by pols, that list is far too long.

    Bottom line - the "homeless vote" (if there is such a thing) doesn't carry the weight of the Hispanic vote. So no pandering to the homeless is required for pols to get elected. But pandering to immigrants (legal, illegal, dreamers, etc.) garners lots of votes for the Dems.

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  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Ald. Cappleman and others, please read Mercy Housing's Mark Angelini's 9/22/17 Letter to the Chicago Tribune Editor:FROM:
    Letter: Homelessness is preventable — if Chicago invests in the right programs

    (Excerpts):"At the core of any effective solution is the availability of stable, affordable housing. In Chicago, there are nearly 190,000 fewer affordable homes than people who need them, and until we do something about this, those who live in poverty will always be on the edge of homelessness. "..."Also critical to addressing homelessness is the provision of supportive services once someone is housed. Very few people choose to be homeless, but many do have challenges that require additional support beyond an affordable home. Through services like housing stability counseling, health and wellness programming, and financial stability and employment training, these individuals are provided with the tools necessary to remain stably housed and become full participants in their communities.

    Study after study has shown that this model of supportive housing works to end homelessness. The lack of affordable housing is an epidemic, but homelessness is preventable. We can do more."

  • Jeffrey Littleton Authenticity is the coin of the realm.

    Mark Angelini is a good man.

  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    I get it. But at what cost?

    Almost 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. Does that mean the US should have free gym memberships and

    I get that some homeless have mental health issues. So increase mental health care. Fine.

    Some are homeless due to bad luck and/or bad decisions. Give them housing and services and a job? Every job you "give" means one less job to be had.

    Financial training? Our government can't even figure out the principle of don't spend more than you make. And you're counting on the government to teach the homeless that?

    Typically, if government is the answer, your asking the wrong questions.

  • Activist are just activist trying to get someone else to do something instead of doing something themselves.

    I wonder what would happen if every activist invited a homeless person to live with them and actually started helping people instead of complaining about the people that do not help.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    You may not know this, but most of the tents that Uptown Tent City homeless were and are using for the past three years have been provided by the Uptown Tent City Organizers Group.. Other basic supplies have been given to the homeless by Uptown Tent City Organizers and other groups.

    Other volunteers regularly have brought food, water , clothes, heaters, fuel, blankets, and other supplies over the years. Most volunteers that I know pay for about as much housing as they can afford and have no extra room. Some leases prohibit extra roommates, unless extra rent is paid. Most homeless living in the tents want a degree of privacy, and some sense of self-sufficiency that they would feel uncomfortable living with other people in someone else's home or in a shelter situation.

    At least one homeless person that I know from the viaducts has private donors to find and fund housing rather than wait for the city or a social service agency waiting list. Landlords do not want formerly homeless and many landlords refuse to accept housing vouchers or other wise discriminate, based on income source or other factors, contrary to law.

    If you or anyone else does have space in your homes and the lease allows it, please invite the next homeless person you see and see if they take you up on your offer. Some or most of the homeless that I know are very suspicious of people making such grand offers. The will ask you:" What do you expect or want in return?" Be ready to answer them and the homeless still not believe you.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    The Uptown Tent City homeless are not homeless by choice, but currently choose to live in tents as they see that as the best current option available to them, compared to the shelters they may have already had bad experiences with or the Pacific Garden Mission shelter that the city recently offered them again, or the Chronic Homeless Pilot Program that most of the remaining homeless may have come to the ciaducts too late to not have been interviewed for or did not qualified for.

    Remember what the homeless said at press conferences" Give us a home or leave us alone" Some homeless don't mind living in tents if the only other choice offered by the city is the dreaded Pacific Garden Mission shelter Others don't want or wouldn't fit well in other shelters, including the ones in Uptown, even if their was a vacant shelter bed available closer to or in Uptown. Adult men and women, homeless or not , what to be respected hand have their choices of where an how to live respected. Most activists understand this, many others, who have little contact or first hand experience being homeless themselves do not.

  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    So, if I'm out of money at the end of the month I should go rob a city or state payment office. If they arrest me I should chant "give me a loan or leave me alone"?

    I mean, I'm not out of money by "choice." And I need food and shelter. And it's taxpayer money so it's the public's and I'm part of the public. So why shouldn't I be able to use that money as I see fit instead of it being used for the reasons the authorities planned and the rest of the public expects?

    As I've written before on this and other threads, when you're in dire need of help, you accept the help available. You don't demand your ideal help. If you're having a heart attack and an ambulance comes, you don't turn them away in hopes that a cardiologist shows up.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    The Original Chronic Homeless Pilot Program was meant to house up to 75 Uptown viaduct homeless ,originally in a three month period, starting when the program began in April 24,2016,(See Mayoral Press release at:
    April 24, 2016
    Mayor Emanuel Announces Pilot To Address Chronic Homelessness With Viable Housing Options For Residents
    Mayor’s Homeless Task Force launches pilot seeking to initially house 75 chronically homeless residents and identify more long-term housing solutions for homeless"

    But a few months latter:FROM:
    Faith In Homeless Pilot Program Runs Out After Only 18 Housed "When the pilot program was launched in April, it set a goal to find permanent housing for 75 individuals it categorized as chronically homeless who were living under viaducts on the North Side. The housing was supposed to be provided within 60 to 90 days, but at the end of July the program had housed only 18 individuals "with more eligible and ready to be housed in the coming weeks," according to Jennifer Rottner, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services."..."While the list began at 75 people, 11 people are now considered "inactive" and no longer in need of city assistance to gain housing. That could be because they moved out of the city or because they are no longer in contact with their outreach worker, Rottner said.

    "This means that a third of the individuals identified through the pilot have left the viaducts, and the focus is now on the 46 residents remaining to be connected with permanent housing," Rottner said via email."

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    The original DFSS plan for the pilot program was to let those remaining funded but unused housing units for the homeless to remain unused, as a test of the pilot program. Activists and DFSS realizing the urgent need to house as many homeless as possible before the viaduct reconstruction began changed DFSS's Pilot Program plans :The most recent count is that 19 homeless of the original 75 had dropped out, been incarcerated, got alternative housing outside of the Pilot Program, been moved into nursing homes, left the state, or died, From 8/18/17 story:FROM:
    Brown: Homeless tent city residents given 30 days to scram
    "Most of the 75 individuals living in the encampments at the start of the 2016 pilot program were relocated, but others moved in to take their place.

    In addition to the 19 openings for temporary or permanent housing, Morrison Butler said the city should have beds available in its homeless shelters for the tent residents.

    But people living under the viaducts often refuse to live in shelters, preferring the homeless encampments for a variety of reasons ranging from having more freedom to feeling more safe."

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Several of the homeless under the viaducts obtained housing under this "extended Pilot Program" effort in the few days before and the day of the Monday 9/18/17 viaduct eviction day. Many homeless did not received such help by the time of the viaduct eviction day.

    Most of the homeless under the viaducts did not have an income or steady income.Those few homeless who have incomes, such as Social security senior benefits or Socials Security disabled benefits or a paying job should, in an ideal world, not have to live either in a homeless shelter or a tent.

    The only Uptown -area SRO that such a person can live in without additional housing subsidy is the Wilson Men's Club, which was sold and is being converted in to mostly market-rate rent units. Even if they had the money after the market-rate rent conversion. the new Wilson Men's Club/City PADS tenant screening process would likely prevent many current homeless with incomes or current Wilson Men's Club residents from living there ever again.

    So yes the poor and homeless in Uptown, with or without incomes, do need government housing help to stay in Uptown in order to be near (within walking distance) of Uptown's many health and other social service agencies that they have come to rely on for their basic survival.

    City policy has underfunded the Uptown-area shelter system, Some homeless would be screened out or not appropriate for regular shelter living anywhere in the city and so must live outside in a tent if their relatives don't or can't help them.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Shipping Alderman Cappleman's ward residents/constituents off on a one-way trip to a far away and unacceptable shelter in another alderman's ward does not really help solve the problem for those particular viaduct homeless or other homeless in the city.
    The phrase "Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic " comes to mind. Real solutions to the real problems of the Uptown and other Chicago homeless need to be found in a city which is NOT really broke as some have claimed. Check out Thomas Tresser's book in the library "Chicago is NOT Broke" or do some reasaerch in Chicago's TIF's, or the yet to be implemented "LaSalle Street Tax", a progressive tax, closing corporate loopholes, etc.

    I found at least $30 million from a Mayor's Homeless Task Force agency, the Department of Streets & San, that should have gone to the Chronic Homeless Pilot program or other homeless services in the city. The Mayor's Homeless Task Force was created about a month before the Chronic Homeless Pilot project, mainly in order to find money in current (2016) city department budgets for such programs as the Chronic Homeless Pilot Program for the Uptown Tent City Homeless.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    See the Mayor's 3/30/2016 Press release at:
    March 31, 2016

    Mayor Emanuel Launches Citywide Task Force to Reduce Homelessness Citywide
    Task Force to focus on coordination of homeless services across all agencies to improve delivery and reduce homelessness of youth and families"..."The Task Force will focus on four broad priorities. First, it will work on streamlining contracts and services provided by the City and its sister agencies and invest any savings in improved service delivery. Second, it will launch an effort this year to provide critical housing and services to the chronically homeless residents. Third, it will develop a plan to reduce homelessness among families with children. And lastly, it will advocate for additional resources for homelessness to make up for recent funding cuts from the state and federal governments."

    Which doesn't seem to account for Homeless Task Force agency Streets and San Department NOT using its $30 Million 2016 savings to help the homeless, See Mayoral Press Release at:
    January 29, 2017

    Mayor Emanuel Announces $30 Million In Savings Following Completion Of Grid Garbage 2.0
    Grid garbage system results in reduction of 60 refuse trucks each day, on average"
    There is no mention in this 1/29/17 press release of any of the $30 Million going to the Homeless Task Force or the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the primary agency responsible for helping the homeless of Chicago. DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler is also chair of the Mayor's Homeless Task Force.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    A Reminder:The tents provided to the homeless by the Uptown Tent City Organizers Group were a privately-funded form of shelter that the homeless accepted compared to Pacific Garden Mission, a privately funded shelter that he homeless rejected. Please respect the choices made by the homeless and try not to force them to take to the only choice the city provided. A choice created in part by the city's deliberate underfunding of its DFSS-funded homeless shelter system.

    The recent Federal lawsuit against the city by the Uptown Tent City Organizer's Group's Andy Thayer offered the city several options. Housing the homeless was the number one preferred option, but several no-cost to the city options also existed. Including the Uptown Tent City homeless to be legally relocated with the city's permission, without city/police harassment, at the Stewart School public way, where some homeless had been before in 2016, and another options was for the city to come up with its own homeless-agreeable solution not listed in the lawsuit.
    The city chose NOT to even try to come up with a better option,

    The city FAILED to mediate or negotiate with the homeless, or Uptown Tent City organizers group advocates. The city FAILED to renegotiate the viaduct location-specific agreement the city had with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. The city FAILED to come up with a agreeable solution with Department of Family and Support Services delegate homeless service agencies in Uptown. The city FAILED the homeless.

  • Jeffrey Littleton Authenticity is the coin of the realm.

    Actually Pacific Garden Mission gets plenty of public funds.

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  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    To be more correct and specific:Pacific Garden Mission is still not on the City of Chicago/DFSS-funded emergency or Interim Housing (longer-term shelter) list, per: the list at:

    It is also not on the HUD-funded Chicago "Continuum of Care" (CoC) shelter list either, see CoC member list at:

    Pacific Garden mission receives other government funds for performing as something other than being a homeless shelter.

  • Jeffrey Littleton Authenticity is the coin of the realm.

    Interesting...thanks Robert.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    '606' Overnight Camping Trip Wildly Popular
    "The 606's Bloomingdale Trail is offering something different for those who love the 2.7-mile-long elevated path: camping.

    The Saturday event, to be held near the western end of the trail, is already filled. However, those interested can get on a waiting list in the event there are last-minute openings.

    The free "Family Camping" event, sponsored by the Friends of Bloomingdale Trail in collaboration with the Chicago Park District, is set for 4 p.m. Saturday to 11 a.m Sunday. It is the first time the event has been offered.

    "Take a nature hike, see the stars, learn basic camping principles, and enjoy a campfire with ghost stories and s'mores," the organizers say, touting the first such camping event for the trail.:

    Camping equipment will be provided and Park District officials are providing security and a portable bathroom.

    The camping area is located above St. Louis and Bloomingdale Avenue, which is accessible from a ramp at 1800 North Spaulding Avenue in Humboldt Park.

    Each tent can fit up to four family members and a parent or guardian must participate, according to the Park District, which says "teams should include at least one child and one adult."

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  • Can you tell me where the Tent City residents have been going to the bathroom this entire time?

  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    C'mon, Robert. There is no hypocrisy there. Allowing people to camp over night as families in a park - for a 19-hour period - does not undermine moving people from sidewalks who have been there for years.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Giving special permission for certain people or groups for certain causes, to use certal public property, including parkland, but enforcing the law against the homeless, even after they have moved away from an expanded construction zone, and off the sidewalks onto non-parkland parkways between the sidewalk and the street is unequal treatment under the law. which does seem to violate the U.S. constitution and the Illinois Bill of Rights of the Homeless.

    Selective enforcement of laws against certain people, groups of people, such as the homeless. or on certain city locations and not others, also seems to violate the U.S. constitution. Such selective enforcement against various minorities has gotten various city's, police forces , and city attorney's in legal trouble before.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    If the homeless were not and are not a persecuted minority, then why are the homeless of Illinois covered and given special legal protection as a protected class, like other minority groups, with a special Illinois statewide Homeless Bill of Rights?

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Another recent example of city hypocrisy:FROM:
    Closing Trails for Fancy Events Sends the Wrong Message
    A dinner for One Percenters on The 606 will feed fears about trail-related displacement
    (Excerpt):"With that in mind, the $200-a-plate meal that shut down the east end of the trail, between Wood Street and Walsh Park, on Friday evening seems awfully tone-deaf. The event, called Farm2Table Dinner on The 606, was hosted by celebrity chef Rick Bayless, who lives next to the trail in Bucktown, as part of Chicago Gourmet Week. “Enjoy a cocktail in Chef Rick Bayless’ personal urban garden before moving up to trail level where you’ll indulge in a farm to table full service dinner along The 606,” the event description promised....

    In fairness, the pricey repast was a benefit for the Chicago Parks Foundation, which raises money for local park improvements, and the Frontera Family Farmer Foundation, which provides independent farms with capital development grants. These are certainly worthwhile causes. And I’m sure it was a wonderful experience to enjoy a gourmet meal on a long, communal table in the middle of a beautiful trail on a lovely early-autumn night.

    But the trail closure for the event, which was supposed to last from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, but actually started at 4 p.m., according to a report from DNAinfo’s Alisa Hauser, represented a minor headache for trail users. Some daily 606 commuters posted on social media about how annoying it was to be forced off the path in the late afternoon in 90-degree weather."

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    See related DNAinfo story at:
    Fancy Dinner Party Closes Part Of 606 To Public, And Some Aren't Too Happy

  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    A) I concur that shutting down the trail with little or no notice for a Rick Bayless dinner (even for a good cause) was short sighted and tone deaf. But I don't use the 606 or abut it so I have no idea what, if any, notice was provided.

    Parks and streets get closed all the time for events - Taste of Chicago; concerts at the Petrillo Band Shell; festivals; block parties; etc. But if you don't have a permit or permission, you cannot use public property or the public way to the detriment of someone else's use of that property.

    B) I disagree that allowing families to camp out overnight is hypocritical when the homeless aren't allowed to live on the public way or public property not intended for long-term occupancy.

    Your argument is the equivalent of saying that Bike The Drive is hypocritical because people can't ride their bikes on Lake Shore Drive the other 364 days of the year. Or that the Chicago Marathon means that everyone should be able to jog on Lake Shore Drive all year.

    C) Illinois has a (rather toothless) Homeless Bill of Rights because the homeless advocates wanted to "prove" that they are effective and legislators wanted to "demonstrate" (feign, really) empathy and compassion for the homeless. The Homeless Bill of Rights simply prohibits discriminating against or harassing somebody because they are homeless. But if a homeless person breaks the law, they can be prosecuted for breaking the law. Not for being homeless. If a homeless person and a non-homeless person each put a tent on public land and tried to live in it, they would both be required to remove the tent and themselves. Otherwise, it would be discrimination to force the homeless person to move but not the non-homeless person.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    The denial of the permit for the homeless to come back to the Stewart School public way, where some homeless had lived last year, ( in the non- sidewalk grassy area, away from construction, near the outermost fences along Broadway & Sunnyside) was the initial Chicago administrative review and basis of the recent Federal lawsuit by Andy Thayer, which is NOT over. Only the viaduct construction injunction part of the lawsuit is over.

    A vacant and unused parkway is generally not used by the public ( such as walked over, ridden over by a bike, driven over by a car) and thus may be technically considered vacant and possibly available for use by the homeless, at least until the city provides them with some type of acceptable housing or acceptable shelter..

    In 2015 parkway land near the Uptown viaducts was able to be used and protected against police arrests, when used as a protest site. One of the basis of the federal lawsuit was that visible homeless in tents near roadways or sidewalks was a form of public protest and thus protected by the First Amendment rights of the homeless.

    Why didn't the police enforce the law under the viaducts for the last several years. The viaduct homeless were mentioned in the June2013 released 46th Ward Master Plan. That Plan did NOT call for the removal or arrest of the homeless under the viaducts, but did recommend supportive housing. This was a couple of years before the Mumford & Son's concert displacement of the homeless, the CCH agreement with the City, and the DFSS Chronic Homeless Pilot Program for the Uptown Tent City Homeless.

    What punishment should the police officers get who failed to arrest and remove the homeless ,if you think that the homeless should have been arrested and removed in 2013 or earlier? Ald. Cappleman has not publically called for any such police officer punishment.

  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    We shall see how the lawsuit progresses.

    Your arguments/positions/ rhetorical questions lack logic, Robert.

    Do you really want the police or anyone else punished for "leaving the homeless alone"? Are you sure?

    They weren't arrested or removed earlier because there was a temporary agreement reached between "advocates" and the city. That agreement included no tents. That was not abided.

    No permit should issue for the private, long-term use of "vacant, unused public land" for private tent cities. Period.

    I think you confuse the purpose of the Homeless Bill of Rights. It guarantees the right to be free from discrimination or mistreatment on the basis of being homeless. It does NOT create rights for homeless people that nobody else has. Such as the right to live wherever the hell they want or choose under whatever rules or conditions they or their advocates are willing to accept.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    I did not say that I think the police should have been punished for not doing their jobs (if their jobs back in 2013 or earlier, before the Chicago
    Coalition For The Homeless(CCH_ /City agreement, were to displace the homeless from the viaducts back then.) But if you or other Not In My Back Yard believing people (NIMBY's) believe that the police should have displaced the homeless long ago, then from the NIMBY point- of-view, the police were not doing their job in enforcing the law. Then,from the NIMBY point-of-view, the police involved in not doing their job, under that definition, should be somehow punished. I have not seen such a request from those opposed to the visible homeless in Uptown to punish any police officer for non enforcement of the law. I hope that statement above clarify things for those who may have been confused.

    The 46th Ward Master Plan was posted in June 2013 and mentions the viaduct homeless and Ald. Cappleman visiting them. SEE June 23013 Revised Master Plan at:

    The Chicago Coalition For the Homeless/City agreement came out in January 2015, per story:
    City Agrees to Warn Homeless of Lower Wacker, Wilson Viaduct Cleanups ,By Tanveer Ali | January 21, 2015 5:21am
    "CHICAGO — People living under the Wilson Avenue viaduct at Lake Shore Drive and on Lower Wacker Drive will be given enough notice to clear their possessions ahead of street cleaning operations under a new city policy.

    The policy, approved earlier this month, came after negotiations between the city and the nonprofit Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

    (Continued on next page)

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    "We have had a lot of complaints from people in those areas about having their property destroyed by Streets and Sanitation and the Chicago Police," said Chicago Coalition for the Homeless attorney Diane O'Connell."

    A copy of that agreed to procedures is at the Dept. of Family and Support Services web site at:

    The Chicago Police and Ald. Cappleman could have better enforced the law before, but chose NOT TO. Someone, perhaps even at Police Commander level, from a NIMBY point of view, should be severely punished for apparent multi-year systematic non-enforcement of the law. I know of no public outcry for an investigation into such lax CPD behavior, following orders or not. If you can find a story about police officers being disciplined or fired for dot following and enforcing the law, please post such stories here. If any police officers failed to enforce the City/CHCH agreement properly, that should also be just cause for disciple or the officers losing their job, form a NIMBY point of view.

    (continued on next page)

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  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    They chose not to because the advocates have always asked/insisted they not do so.

    Now you're "asking" if they should be punished because, by your "logic," if the authorities are going to "punish" the homeless for illegally occupying public space, then the authorities should be punished for not having "punished" the homeless sooner. Because not "punishing" the homeless was a dereliction of duty.

    It's dizzying.

    Literally, yes - I am a NIMBY in that I don't want homeless people sleeping in my back yard. I don't want anyone sleeping in my back yard unless it's my kids, me taking a nap, etc.

    In common parlance - no, I am not a NIMBY. I would not be opposed to the homeless being sheltered on my street in facilities, houses or apartments appropriate for human occupancy, with running water and other amenities. But then they wouldn't be homeless, would they? And the advocates would have nothing to advocate for.

    An elderly neighbor was recently removed from her home because the city declared it unfit for occupancy. It was her home, where she raised her children and has lived for decades. She is now living with one of her children and, hopefully, getting the help and services she needs. Her home is being cleaned up and fixed up with the hope that she can move back in.

    There are rules about who can live where and in/under what conditions. Simple as that. Under viaducts, on unused/vacant public land, the lobby of City Hall - none of those is appropriate.

    I think the homeless should be housed. I also think people in dire need of help should be grateful for help that is offered and not keep making demands or asking to be "left alone."

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    "We have had a lot of complaints from people in those areas about having their property destroyed by Streets and Sanitation and the Chicago Police," said Chicago Coalition for the Homeless attorney Diane O'Connell."

    A copy of that agreed to procedures is at the Dept. of Family and Support Services web site at:

    The Chicago Police and Ald. Cappleman could have better enforced the law before, but chose NOT TO. Someone, perhaps even at Police Commander level, from a NIMBY point of view, should be severely punished for apparent multi-year systematic non-enforcement of the law. I know of no public outcry for an investigation into such lax CPD behavior, following orders or not. If you can find a story about police officers being disciplined or fired for not following and enforcing the law, please post such stories here. If any police officers failed to enforce the City/CCH agreement properly, that should also be just cause for disciple or the officers losing their job, from a NIMBY point of view.

    (continued on next page)

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen


    Police did kick people out of the viaducts in November 2015, per this story:
    Kicked Out From Under Viaducts, Where Can Uptown's Homeless Turn?
    By Josh McGhee | November 4, 2015 9:50am
    "A Crackdown in Uptown

    In Uptown, homelessness is an issue that can not be ignored, partially because of visibility. The viaducts along Lake Shore Drive have long been home to folks with nowhere else to go. Laura and Jose called the Wilson Avenue viaduct home until Sunday, when police cleared about a dozen homeless people — mostly men — from the viaduct.

    Around 5:20 p.m., officers told those under the Wilson viaduct they needed to pack up their tents and leave. Jose was one of those ticketed for using a "tent without permit," which he plans to fight in court, he said."

    No good explanation seems to exist for the lack of the CCH/City agreement being enforced consistently by Chicago Police officers between January and November 2015. That seems to indicate selective enforcement of lax judgment on the part of law enforcement or their commanders. An explanations does seem to be needed from someone in an official capacity and on the record.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Police don't take their orders from the homeless,homeless activists, or most civilians. Police take their orders from their superiors and commanders, and perhaps by elected officials or appointees (like DFSS Commissioners or reps on the scene) on occasion. Their behavior should be guided by the law, their training, and hopefully some good common sense judgment..

    It is absurd to think that activists control police behavior or the decision making on arresting someone or not, or what level of force is required in any given situation.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Don't try to twist my words: To be clear:
    I personally am NOT asking that the police be punished for their past failure to enforce the laws against the homeless, but I am pointing out that a true-blue "law & order"/NIMBY citizen, WOULD, based on their own logic, likely insist on an investigation and some punishment on those cops/commanders for their multi-month/year non-enforcement or inconsistent enforcement of the laws against the homeless that allowed the visible homeless to be seen in the community, if the law and courts were really on the cops/commander's/NIMBY citizen's side.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    "Neighborhood Dad" If you attended the Chronic Homeless Pilot program community meetings or rad some of the press accounts regarding the Uptown Tent City homeless. Per Lisa Morrison Butler, the Commissioner of the Chicago Dept. of Family and Support Services, Ms Rodriguez of the Homeless division of DFSS, and others::
    1) Law and city policy mean that the City/DFSS can NOT force anyone to accept any help or shelter recommendation.
    2) The city only has Pacific Garden Mission as an shelter option to send the homeless to these days.
    3) The Uptown Tent City homeless, for the most part want to stay in Uptown and NOT go to the Pacific Garden Mission or even local shelters. Their current social services in Uptown help supply their basic needs. For the most part, the homeless do not trust government agency or representative promises about shelter, housing, or social services elsewhere.
    4) The Uptown Tent City homeless have a shelter somewhat acceptable (over a homeless shelter option) now: privately-funded donated or self-bought tents. The tents are their current , temporary homes until they get housing from a government or another source..
    5)The City wants to take away, remove, destroy or store those tent homes from the homeless, increasing their poverty, and reducing the homeless options to just the Pacific Garden Mission. shelter.
    6) The city says it does not have shelter beds elsewhere or money for housing for the remaining Uptown Tent City homeless.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    The result of all this policy is a few dozen or so tent-less nomadic homeless with no place to live in Uptown, an area which does have plenty of vacant public and private land big enough, unused, and not under construction, for tents to be set up. But no one with power or authority, including Ald. Cappleman or the Mayor, want to make the decision to legally have tents set up anywhere in Uptown or other areas of the city, (per recent CPD messaging) using variances or exceptions to the law. In this scenario, the homeless would lose what little shelter they have now, loose their property, still be homeless and un-housed, still attempting to get basic services in Uptown, more at risk of increasing their health problems including soon, risking death by exposure to cold weather, as well as more distrustful of others. All under an Alderman , Mayor, and City whose publically stated policy is in favor of the "Housing First" model for helping the homeless and in favor of supportive housing with wrap-around services. That really does not make much sense and seems unnecessarily mean and cruel towards the homeless of Uptown and Chicago.

  • Neighborhood Dad 27-year resident of North Center/St Bens/Lincol...

    Sorry, Robert. Wasn't trying to twist your words. Was just pointing out the consequences of the "answer" to your rhetorical question.

    I am hardly a "true-blue 'law and order'/NIMBY citizen." And I well understand the police chain of command.

    My point is that the homeless have no law-based claim to erect tents (even privately-funded tents) wherever they'd like. Even if that land may be private, otherwise unused, and not under construction. There are zoning and health codes for a reason.

    If a private citizen owns land that he or she wants the homeless to use, he or she should make the land suitable for occupancy by erecting a building with plumbing and heat and electricity and in compliance with the various building, zoning and health codes.

    A cluster of tents with no accessible bathroom facilities is not good for the health of the occupants or neighbors.

    You are correct that I did not attend the meetings about which you write. But I have read most of the articles and posts to which you provided links. Thank you. It seems clear to me that the city has tried to work with the homeless and/or their advocates but there is only so much that can be done. And what can be done seems unacceptable to the homeless and their advocates. So it comes down to what must be done.

    And that is to not allow people to sleep in tents on the public way or anywhere that is not suitable for long-term occupancy.

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