Friday, October 11, 2013

IGNORING GOOD ADVICE?: Another Youth Center Seeks Neighbors' Approval, Reader Says

While residents near the center of Wrigleyville and Boystown are dealing with problems that the 19th district police commander says are caused in part by social service clients, another youth center is looking to permanently set up shop in southeast Lakeview, according to a reader.

The Broadway Youth Center, which has a reputation for being less-than-stellar neighbors and unhelpful to police, wants to set up shop permanently in a church at 615 W. Wellington.

You may remember the large groups that used to, among other things, loiter outside of the BYC's front door when they were located above the Chipotle at Broadway and Belmont. Remember when that bus stop outside of the Laugh Factory had a shelter over it--before getting dismantled piece by piece?

The neighbors seem concerned with the BYC's hours of operation, not wanting their services to extend beyond 8pm. That's not a bad idea. But the problems we're facing on our end of the neighborhood aren't coming up during operating hours. They're coming up after hours. Long after the social service employees have packed up and gone home for the night, some of their clients linger, looking for things to do.

So, while the police commander has learned first hand some of our problems stem from less-than-savory individuals drawn here for social services, a neighboring area may be flying in the face of the police department's own best advice.



From a reader:
The Broadway Youth Center's new location was approved without consulting the neighbors. Guess what's happening? A woman who lives right there emailed me, signed our petition and left a comment:  
"This week the patrons of BYC were lounging on my front stoop (inside a wrought iron gate) and smoking pot - on private property. In a separate incident, a group of young men tried to climb into a bedroom window on the raised first floor in the middle of the night. My son scared them away with a bat." 
Sound familiar? It sure does to the unlucky neighbors of The Crib.  
Monday night the South East Lake View Neighbors will be holding their month meeting and voting on issuing a special use zoning permit for the Broadway Youth Center to operate their facility on a residential block. Progress was finally made with the problems stemming from The Crib (after a number of useless meetings with the police, the alderman, the Night Minstry and the Crib) when residents from the area packed the last meeting and spoke with one voice.  
A representative of the BYC told the woman who left that comment on the petition that the neighbors aren't showing enough respect to the BYC's patrons. Residents of this community need to go to the SELVN meeting Monday night and let it be heard loud and clear that enough is enough. 
Monday October 14, 7pm 656 W Barry
Be there.
It seems there's a huge place called "Center on Halsted" that offers all sorts of services just a few blocks away. Does the neighborhood really need another service center?  The answer will probably be "yes" if you ask one of the persons whose for-profit salaries depend on it.

UPDATE: The CWB reader who posted the above comment adds:
There is some confusion as to whether or not SELVN approved the zoning issue at their September meeting. Apparently, the Alderman's office is under the impression that SELVN approved BYC request although it appears no formal vote was taken. [...]
I attended an LVCC board meeting (SELVN is a member group) last Spring with some of my co-op building neighbors. The issue of crime was only briefly mentioned, and when we questioned the operation of so many of these social service organizations in the area, several board members said that "this is the area these kids need to be." For far too long decisions have been made without the input or knowledge of the larger community. That's partly all of our faults for not getting involved. It's time to get involved. 

24 comments:

  1. It's time for the neighborhood groups to come together and speak with one voice. All these groups are too fragmented, but the problem is one - CRIME. Belmont Harbor Neighbors, Triangle Neighbors and South East Lakeview Neighbors get your acts together! Strength in unity and numbers. Together you can take the problem to the Mayor's office. We need some attention and you can do it if you just come together since Tunney is either unwilling or unable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I plan to be there. I'm tired of these thugs taking over the neighborhood. Code of silence doesn't work in this area.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is some confusion as to whether or not SELVN approved the zoning issue at their September meeting. Apparently, the Alderman's office is under the impression that SELVN approved BYC request although it appears no formal vote was taken. Also there is a question as to why this issue was even taken up without first informing and including neighbors living within the vicinity of the new BYC location.

    AS CWB mentioned, there were serious issues when BYC was located above the Broadway Theater, but they didn't mention the savage beating of a Chipotle employee by a BYC patron inside the restaurant.

    I attended an LVCC board meeting (SELVN is a member group) last Spring with some of my co-op building neighbors. The issue of crime was only briefly mentioned, and when we questioned the operation of so many of these social service organizations in the area, several board members said that "this is the area these kids need to be." For far too long decisions have been made without the input or knowledge of the larger community. That's partly all of our faults for not getting involved. It's time to get involved.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yes, I remember switching sides of the street when walking on Broadway south of Belmont. These "clients" would block the sidewalk at break time. Having that center in a neighborhood of houses makes no sense. I can imagine the hit on property values of nearby homes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brillant that they are working WITHOUT a permit for medical procedures. Why is everytime "its for the youth" certain rules are pushed under the rug?

    Do we need any more of these in the area? NO. We now have THREE:

    BYC (Run by Howard Brown)
    The Center on Halsted
    Aris Healthcare (ALSO run by Howard Brown)

    ReplyDelete
  6. My partner died two years ago and I have a lot of quality clothes I was going to give Howard Brown, along with 6 white and spotless parson's chairs and a bronze table...I was GOING to give them to Howard Brown, but I am no longer feeding the hand that's biting me and my neighborhood. Let all the "youth" that Howard Brown serves contribute to them. I won't and I encourage other Lakeview residents not to either. Remember Howard Brown is contributing greatly to the decline of Lakeview!

    I suggest EVERYONE in the Lakeview area find some other resale shop to patronize other than Howard Brown, and find any other resale shop to donate their no longer used items!

    I am going to be calling Michael Reese resale shop to pick up the furniture and the clothes...not Howard Brown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry for your loss. Deb Mell and thus Rahm is very much behind Howard Brown so they can continue to do what they please. If Rahm and Tunney goes we can finally take back our community.

      Delete
  7. "Do we need any more of these in the area? NO. We now have THREE:"----------------you forgot The Crib on Addison and the Night Ministry Free Food Fest at Halsted/Belmont. THAT'S FIVE!

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is always money in social services even when the economy is in the the tank. This is nothing more than big business and less about helping people. Say it's for the youth or charity and people are a afraid to say now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Let the Alderman know your feelings before the zoning issue is decided.

    ward44@cityofchicago.org

    ReplyDelete
  10. Helen Shiller advising these groups so she can destroy us like she did Uptown?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Total truth. Expose her for what she is.

      Delete
  11. Maybe we should escalate this and address our concerns to the Howard Brown Board of Directors. Hopefully, these members of academia, major hospitals and corporate America will the easier to deal with rather than dealing with thin-headed activists and political opportunists (EG Tunney):
    http://howardbrown.org/hb_aboutus.asp?id=12

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think if there is a big enough turnout on Monday to start talking stories and asking why its even needed at all with Aris now open, should be interesting enough! Geeze. Just cant get a break.

    We do need to start pushing for no more of these 'centers' to be open. 3 is more than enough - especially of they do the same things.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I stopped donating to Howard Brown and started donating to that Goodwill or Salvation Army on Clybourn just south of Fullerton. Recently remodeled entrance and just as convenient.

    Why feed the hand that bites you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Feds almost shut down Howard Brown over the grant money they received from Northwestern that the leaders spent on others things. No one went to jail. It's the Chicago way.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We need some conditions if they want to keep these centers open and open others. I suggest we vote for a provision to be added stating that for each center, we need to add AN ADDITIONAL 10 on duty officers per shift. If there's 5 centers in East Lakeview, we need 50 additional on duty officers. Let's start with that. No reason why we should be paying some of the most expensive property taxes in the state, to have to deal with the mess these centers leave behind.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 50 additional officers ??? Are you on drugs ? Another center and you want more officers ? The 19th district has the highest number of robberies in the city and they can't get 1 officer. I would love to get some of what you are smoking . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  17. This would be yet another nightmare for the area. Whenever churches like this one stop and become 'social justice' churches, the members leave and they need funding. They can rent space to the center, keep the church going with almost no members, and the center staff continues to get a paycheck. There are enough youth services centers in Lakeview. Enough is enough.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If you are reading these posts and you can make yourself available to attend the SELVN meeting this coming Mon, Oct 28th at 7PM at 656 W. Barry, PLEASE DO COME!! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! The more the better.

    You do not need to live within the SELVN boundaries. You need only be concerned about crime in our beloved Lakeview.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Aris which is open on Halsted and Melrose is not a social services center, rather it is a medical provider formerly known as Triad - for paying customers with insurance. The clinic which provides affordable/free services is staying on Sheridan/Irving.

    ReplyDelete
  20. MEETING. IS actually. MONDAY OCT 14 :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've raised this question before and will repeat in this discussion. Where do the directors of these services live themselves? I believe that some of the Crib officers live in Evanston and Rogers Park?
    Do you think the directors of these organizations care about this neighborhood?
    I have always supported Howard Brown and I find this kind of disregard for this neighborhood abhorrent and sad.

    ReplyDelete
  22. To: "I've raised this question before...where do the directors live?"
    Answer: They live in fancy areas probably. The Howard Brown directors are top executives, professors and doctors. I suggest we start emailing them to increase their awareness or simply to give them hell. Here is the link to who they are:
    http://howardbrown.org/hb_aboutus.asp?id=12

    ReplyDelete