Saturday, June 03, 2017

Boystown Youth Shelter Closing For At Least A Month, Staff Training And Turnover Cited

The Crib operates in the basement of Lakeview Lutheran Church near Halsted and Addison. | Google
The Night Ministry’s Crib, a youth shelter that operates out of Lakeview Lutheran Church at 835 West Addison, will close for at least a month beginning June 7 according to its parent organization.

While the Night Ministry is framing the closure as a chance to train its staff and address turnover issues, the announcement came just a day after police were called to the shelter to handle its latest security concern.

A Crib supervisor called 911 around 6 o’clock Friday morning after a suspicious man knocked aggressively on the shelter door and then covered a security camera lens.

In February, a 23-year-old man who’s on parole for robbery was arrested at the Crib after staff members reported seeing him carrying a gun inside the shelter.

Last October, CWBChicago reported that a different man who was on parole for robbery called 911 to report that he had been robbed inside the Crib.

That man, Keyruni Buford, was arrested in Boystown three weeks later after he punched a senior citizen in the face three times, took the victim’s phone and reached into the man’s pants to take his wallet, according to court records.

Erin Ryan, senior vice president for The Night Ministry, told The Windy City Times today, “We have had a couple incidents in the space—it's a small space and tensions were high...We had a couple incidents that made us concerned for the safety of the residents. We want to make sure the space is safe and that we review our policies and the way that we use it."

But Ryan is spinning the closure as a chance to train the shelter’s workers and address turnover.

A source who works with Boystown-area service agencies told CWB today that the Crib has had ongoing issues with staff retention and has had difficulty finding quality workers to staff the shelter.

The Crib will continue to offer nightly dinner service. Catholic Charities will help find shelter for people who show up at the Crib during its closure, Ryan said.
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