Friday, December 06, 2013

UNDENIABLE: Report Reveals Facts About Crime At Center on Halsted

The Inside-Booster community newspaper's November 27 edition features a front page story by former Chicago cop Bob Zuley that exposes some cold, hard facts about crime at the Center On Halsted (COH).

To be clear, CWB does not and has never blamed COH or any service organization for "all of the crime" in our neighborhood.

Our position is that these service organizations play a very important role in our neighborhood, but they need to become better neighbors who actively assist the police to root out bad elements.

Unfortunately, their position is that they don't have bad elements. As the Inside-Booster story points out,
Tom Elliot, spokesperson for the CoH told ABC7 news [in August] that, "…I can confidently say the individuals that are committing crimes in the area are not coming here for our services."
At a community meeting two weeks ago, Maura McCauley, the city's director of Homeless Prevention, Policy, and Planning, said, "We have no concrete evidence that social services bring crime to the community."
Those are simply untenable positions. A small portion of people who come here on the premise of seeking aid are committing crimes in the area. Just like a small portion who go to most establishments do. The problem is in the agencies' denials.

The Inside-Booster lays out the numbers:
[A] Freedom of Information request shows reported crimes that include 32 batteries, 41 assaults, three robberies, 32 thefts, seven narcotics crimes, three sex offenses, and 38 trespassing cases.
Zuley points out a very important reason to get a handle on crime in the Halsted-Waveland-Addison area.
The proximity of a senior citizen residence presently under construction on the same block underscores the importance of highlighting the crimes that have been reported at the CoH…
Some of neighborhood service agencies believe that when bad things happen on their premises, they are better equipped to handle the problem internally than the police department. We beg to differ.

The Documents
CWB has received copies of official records that support Zuley's story.

Some of the documents, such as a 38-page list of police responses to the COH are a little technical. We are working on a reader-friendly summary of those reports.

We have also received 61 pages of Chicago Police Department reports that document many serious crimes that have occurred at COH. We will begin sharing some of those with you today.

The police reports reveal alleged gang affiliations of reported offenders. They also show that the Center staff has assisted with the detention of some offenders. Presumably, the COH spokesman did not receive word of his co-workers' activities.

Inside-Booster's newspapers have been covering Lakeview news at the community level for 108 years. Most of their reports, including Zuley's story about COH, are not available online. Copies can be found in local retailers. For example, the Barry Regent cleaners at Wellington and Broadway had a stack earlier this week.
Image: Center on Halsted

21 comments:

  1. Certainly cannot count on the Windy City Times' Pollyanna’s to report anything of use, even if it's their job.
    Thugleyville's Alderman is still carrying on about liquor sales in the press. Lakeview East crime issues in general are the furthest thing from his narcissistic little brain.

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  2. None of these organizations have really any oversight other than the people running them is the problem. Also there is lot of homeless youth on the Halsted. Makes me wonder if some of them just got out of jail and are dropped off in the neighborhood.

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  3. I am very glad that everyone speaking on this topic are young. If we go back to the late 70's & 80's Boys Town was then called New Town and the only people that were willing to live there were Queers. So after 50 years of gentrification it has become the Gold Coast of the north side. The work to help all LGBTQ people that the Center On Halsted does is getting put aside for roughly 2 events a month in the crime stats ( if you dived it out that is what it comes to ). It is not the only operation in the area there are many, so unless all of these go that address it may be less. So maybe it is time to say Thank You to the Center for providing meal's, programs and many events for the Senior LGBTQ members who created what is now known as Boys Town.
    Respectfully yours an Old Queer

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    1. This is precisely the attitude that so many people like to take in order to demonize individuals, including the "Old Queers" here at CWB who simply want the agencies to become responsible neighbors.

      We clearly stated our support and our belief for the services these agencies provide to be in our neighborhood. You, and a goodly number of others, choose to ignore that.

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    2. Oh please. I know of a soon to be gay senior that took advantage of a free (nicer than I had) Thanksgiving meal there. He's very capable of taking a job to support himself modestly......until he's discovered by Hollywood or Broadway (not the avenues). I would have continued dating him if he at least took on 32 hours a week at a Taco Bell or KFC.

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    3. Ah, yes. The apologists. If a "charity" operation is involved, then they need not operate responsibly. Their clients have very special needs and should be held to a lesser standard. If you say the Center or Night Ministry or Broadway Youth Center should take certain steps to help the neighborhood, then you're just a heartless assh*le, right?

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    4. These senior "Old Queers" will be housed directly next to the center once construction is complete on the new facility. I fear some of them will fall victim to the not-so-old and not-so-queer people who come here for the wrong reasons.

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  4. ...And lets not forget another incident that probably want even reported last month. The ONE time I decide to visit the COH to go to WHOLE FOODS. I decided to walk through the lobby. And what did I find - two policemen questioning a COH client (holding his arm, precisely .. sounded like they were asking him if he took something...wasn't sure). I walked past didn't try to pay any attention...but as I stood in whole foods by the dessert counter, they two police officers were escorting that same individual to the back of the store.

    We dont have an issue with the services...its how the COH is handling the procedure, and who they are attracting. If you walked in anytime into the COH, I think many here would agree with me, that the COH is nothing more than a $30Million day-care center.

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  5. The Inside Booster includes some of its stories on its FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inside-Booster-News-Star-Skyline/216540691700505?ref=ts&fref=ts

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  6. These places are con jobs, and their directors no better than grifters, that's the problem.

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  7. When this area was called New Town, there were a lot more than just queers living here. This area has always had a good mix of everything -- rich, poor, young, elderly, gay, straight, college kids, yuppies, hospital personnel and church personnel. The mix worked -- until these social service agencies came to town. They ruined Uptown and now they are coming to Lakeview. The only solution is to totally shut them down. Period.

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    1. Amen to that!
      I work in real estate and I've seen first hand how the social services can ruin the economy of a neighborhood. More than once I've been showing my clients a building, standing outside of a property near some social service where their patients/residents/clients are hanging outside and screaming, cussing, or talking like they're crazy. The result: clients don't want to live there. Forget even buying, they don't even want to rent an apartment there. So, what happens to the neighborhood? Home owners sell under duress and move away. Property values go down, lower income people move in, seeking affordable rental property, while attracting a criminal element. It becomes a slum.
      Lakeview looks like it's fighting a battle of the social services versus the young affluent family city dweller. A day care center is planned for Halsted/Brompton. Nettelhorst school continues to draw parents to the neighborhood. But, then you've got every church seemingly wanting to harbor every fugitive who raises their hand and says "I'm a poor inner city kid and gay."

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    2. Or take the weed away from the social workers and let it be known, loud and clear, you won't listen to their BS. I met one at a NYE party a few years ago and will never forget it. She was the most ignorant sheltered Chicagolander that I've met in my 40+ years.

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    3. We need to be there for the people who need help. We have to give them a chance and give them a hand up. We also need to get rid of the bad seeds—the wolves in rainbow clothing.

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    4. to the guy refering to "Newtown" back in the day. yes, i totally agree about how it used to be, BUT, you have to admit, there were a lot more hustlers, hookers and junkies around here back then and things would get a bit dicey back then too, once in a while, but not with the flat out thugs up here now, nothing like that back then. But sir, i have to disagree with you about social services turning Uptown into a shithole first and now working on Lakeview. Uptown wasnt turned into a shithole, it always WAS a shithole, from the late 60's up thru the 70's, big shithole. you had all those hillbilly bars, Native American bars, day labor rent-a-bum agencies, flophouses, junkies, way-low rent whores, it was a toilet. Only when the "boat people" came over in 75, pulled themselves up in a couple of years, and started buying up and re-doing Argyle did things change a bit. A lot of the old stuff is gone, yes. but the stuff that replaced it (Borders for one) is gone now too and its because that community couldnt sustain it and its because they exchanged one set of bums for another, and this group definitely has no manners at all. Theres a great new coffee table book out for the holidays available at Unabridged, photographic history of Uptown,B&W, in all its seedy glory, check it out. peace

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  8. I think those stats are low. As someone that lives next door to the COH, I see the police inside DAILY. I also see the "youth" being pushed down the sidewalk toward my building by the security DAILY. If they had any sort of social service help, it obviously ended long ago

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  9. "We need to be there for the people who need help. We have to give them a chance and give them a hand up. We also need to get rid of the bad seeds—the wolves in rainbow clothing. "

    Yes - the city (and probably taxpayers) paid $30 MILLION to "help." What more do you want?

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  10. What gets forgotten in the conversation, is that our tax dollars support the organizations that then become a pain in the ass for us, and out elected officials don't care. We need to make them care, and so do the businesses in East Lakeview.

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  11. ..."our elected officials don't care..."

    I'm not quite sure that I agree with that. I think they care very much...but unfortunately not about the neighborhood or their constituents. Tunney is always rushing to the defense of these organizations even when confronted with information such as in this post. He passes off the trouble at Whole Foods as that's just the grocery store business. Yeah, right, tell that to Whole Foods who is keeping a detailed account of their trials and tribulations with the Center.

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    1. no, they dont give a shit. with the exception of elections when they feel entitled to our reaffirmation of their positions, they dont give a toss about anybody but themselves and the money people they are beholden to. we are nothing but their ladder, to which they aspire to ascend to the historical heights in their own minds and no price is too great for someone else to pay, so that they may bask in hubristic glory. (the system is broken, tear it down, let it burn, start over :D peace everbody

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  12. If you want to know who paid for the COH, then go into their lobby and read the wall. Sure, there was public money, but a lot of private and foundation money as well.

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