Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Can the Bedroom Community of Park Manor and a Teen Homeless Shelter Coexist in Harmony
The Park Manor community is a quiet community that many times gets overlooked. The community which starts at 69th street on the north and 79th south, State Street to the West and Cottage Grove to the east. Many times it gets rolled up in Greater Grand Crossing or Chatham. The community is bedroom community that exist of single family bungalows, two flats and the last of Chicago three flats. The community has recently been on TV as a television show "American Diggers" attempted to reignite the Al Capone lore by asking to dig up individuals backyards in search of possible hidden treasure that could have been left by Capone. The community and the Chicago Police Department put a quick end to that.
On the corner of 74th Michigan Ave sits a church, the church which was built in the late 1920's served as a Lutheran church and elementary school up until the 1990's. Due to declining enrollment and a dwindling congregation both the school and church were closed and merged with another church outside of Park Manor. The building and adjoining school have been leased to a variety of churches and nonprofits and none have had any long term success at operating.
The building is currently being occupied by Liberation Christian Center which is an acceptable use by the community. Now the church would like to sublease a portion of the building to a group named Unity Parenting and Counseling . The organization which has an incomplete website states that they are a social service agency that offer foster care services for the State of Illinois. Also, it states they run a housing community "Harmony Village" that houses teens from the age of 17-21, who are homeless. The group has a facebook page for Harmony Village but id does not state where they are currently located. Both Harmony Village and Unity Parenting Counseling were both contacted and did not respond to request for additional information.
In the past other organizations have attempted to come to Park Manor both legally and illegally and operate transitional or "halfway" housing. The community has been very vocal in their disapproval even when some of these operators attempted to go to ultra liberal media outlets and disparage the community. Also, based on a visual inspection it appears that the church is already making plans to go forward regardless of the community feelings and not have the proper City of Chicago permits.
Some are going to argue that some of the other churches in the community have social service organizations operating out of their facilities but none have any form of housing going on.
On Monday May 6, 2013 the community will weigh in on this matter as the church and Unity Parenting and Counseling will seek to get the members of Park Manor Neighbors to write a letter of approval to Alderman Roderick Sawyer. The details of the meeting are:
May 6, 2013
St Columbanus(Glass House)
311 E 71st Street
Do you think they should approve the Shelter?
Labels: 6th ward, Alderman Roderick Sawyer, city of chicago, Greater Grand Crossing, halfway house, harmony village, housing, Park Manor, Park Manor Neighbors Community Council, shelter, unity parenting and counseling
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