Monthly Archives: December 2017

26 Dec 2017

Less Than Zero Degrees City Government Shame

By |2018-01-13T18:42:52+00:00December 26th, 2017|Tent City|0 Comments

Yes, people are under blankets trying to survive

It is the day after Christmas and it was below zero this morning in Uptown Chicago. It will be single digit temperatures all this week, give or take 10 degrees.

Happy New Year for people experiencing homelessness at the Foster LSD viaduct in Chicago, your unrepresentative elected officials could care less if you live or die

The good news is we brought tents, tarps, hand warmers and blankets. I just spoke to the Executive Director of CCO, and she said their outreach team will be going there to try to bring them into their warming center.

I hope the Mayor, City Council, and relevant City departments are having a great Holiday Season. These constituents aren’t. Shame on you.

City of Chicago ‘leadership’ is deadly, that is a fact

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Be sure to Join the Uptown Outside Facebook Group!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/UptownOutside

#Homeless #Jesus #Chicago

10 Dec 2017

He’s a liar and thief but he’s our liar and thief

By |2017-12-10T14:07:59+00:00December 10th, 2017|Activism|1 Comment

Don’t become what you fight against

In a recent email exchange I was a part of, with 15 or so homelessness activists and journalists, Andy Thayer of Uptown Tent City Organizers, someone I respect deeply (as well as the rest of UTCO), kindly apologized to me for an article where the journalist misappropriated the credit for tent fund-raising to him instead of me.

I responded “It was a team effort, not concerned with credit, thanks for considering it though.”

I further responded “What I do find distressful is the perpetuation of the [redacted name] lies by so many. As many of us know, he was never homeless at the viaducts, and has been housed at the [redacted building] as long as I have known him, for over a year. His ‘mayorship’ was one of domination, and donation skimming. Now he acts like he just got housed. 100% lies out of that guy and often enforced among the people actually homeless with drunken bullying to put it mildly. It’s shameful.”

Another person in the email chain, [redacted name] with a history of dishonesty and divisiveness, responded to my comments “I initially felt that way too about [redacted name] but then, when it became clear he answered to us… (blah blah blah, a whole paragraph of minimizations, rationalizations and subject shifting…)”

I didn’t respond there, but I will here because this needs to be said for the quality and effectiveness of our community’s testimony for people experiencing homelessness. I’d rather not even comment but the level of false information in the news about Uptown’s homelessness is getting too high to ignore.

Sad that the two redacted name people above’s need for attention exceeds their respect for others and the movement against homelessness but it’s not totally uncommon. Even sadder for the non-profits that willingly traffic in this garbage because they should know better.

First auxiliary point, to be clear, when I talk about donation skimming in this exchange, I’m talking about stealing tents, propane heaters and propane, not sandwiches and used clothes. No one can prevent every donation diversion but I’m pretty sure the kind hearted donors to Uptown Outside or Uptown Tent City Organizers for that matter, donate for survival needs not a booze and cigarette budget. Additionally, casually allowing funds downgrades, i.e. selling a $50 tent for $10 or whatever, is not respectful to donor intentions either. Homelessness activists and non-profits need to be good stewards of donation funds. When there is a big leak in the bucket, you plug the leak, it’s just that simple.

Second auxiliary point, called to task for his dishonest status, the non-homeless homeless person in response, lied about and slandered at least 2 other activists and a completely uninvolved homelessness non-profit. This was to a TV station, a newspaper, and numerous other homeless people. Referrals to journalists for this person have multiple levels of harm to the homelessness movement.

Main point 1: It’s not about us vs. them or winning

I get it, I’m sure it feels that way sometimes, especially for those in the streets but those things are not what it is about. It’s about dealing with homelessness. It’s about our ethically and morally deficient leaders in government lying to the public, as well as creating, maintaining and refusing to realistically resolve homelessness in the scale necessary. Someday when the government codifies that housing is a human right, and everyone is guaranteed housing, everyone wins. There are no sides.

Main point 2: You can’t demand ethics from others you are not willing to follow yourself

This is the same principle at work here as ‘He is a p*ssy grabber and rapist but he’s our p*ssy grabber and rapist’ that I’m sure most of you will understand. We already have a corrupt, dishonest, selectively discriminatory and uncaring City Council that resembles our GOP Congress. Don’t be the same as them.

Main point 3: False testimony in the media does nothing for homelessness

If 10%-50% of every media story about people experiencing homelessness in Uptown is fake news, there are no gains for homelessness advocacy. The opportunity and bandwidth to truly educate and inform the public have been wasted.

Main point 4: The truth about homelessness is bad enough

We don’t need to embellish or make up stories. The truth is not only sufficient but even more compelling. In fairness to the 1st redacted name individual, he’s been homeless before and from the looks of things, will be again. His true story would have been a better one, I am certain.

We all fall short of the glory of God

We are all imperfect, there is no need to dwell on individuals’ imperfections, but please, you expect more from government leaders and information sources, expect more from activist leaders and information sources as well.

If you are an activist or non-profit and a journalist asks you for referrals to people experiencing homelessness for an interview, don’t refer them to someone who isn’t homeless, known to lie about other activists and non-profits, or selfishly camera-struck. Stop sticking phony homeless people on stages as part of homelessness panels, things like that. It’s not rocket science.

As humans, we may never be perfect, but we shouldn’t start normalizing dishonesty and theft from our leaders, institutions, and spokespeople. We already have Cappleman and Trump for that.

Pretty basic stuff and simple enough right?

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Be sure to Join the Uptown Outside Facebook Group!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/UptownOutside

#Homeless #Jesus #Chicago

7 Dec 2017

Are Neighborhoods Animate or Inanimate Objects?

By |2017-12-07T13:35:27+00:00December 7th, 2017|City Council|1 Comment

Uptown mansion completed in 1913, 817 W Hutchinson is for sale today for $5.69 million. They don’t build them like this anymore in Uptown but if this was the development scale of today, with Alderman Cappleman Real Estate Industry thinking, you can be sure today’s condo owners would be of no value and tomorrow’s homeless.

The basic ignorance of 46th Ward Ald. Cappleman

…and the others in Chicago’s City Council, I can relate to it. In the first half of my adult life, in the 1970’s as a young property manager, through the mid 1980’s in a high-rise development team on the north side, I possessed many of the very same flaws. That is why I can see these flaws so clearly now.

Even from the mid 1980’s through the year 2000 when I was in the 1st half of my information technology career, just like my real estate time period, and just like Cappleman et al. does today, I saw a neighborhood or community as the buildings in it, the land, the amenities, not the people living there.

You can see this flawed thinking in play constantly at Team Cappleman’s anonymous real estate propaganda rag, the Uptown Update, as they announce each building development as though it were a baby birthed. It’s like playgrounds with no children. You and I may get it, but they just don’t get it. Their blindness is a very dark place. Sad.

Never be confused by the lies and rationalizations of people trying to cover up this deficiency. Actions are the evidence. People are sleeping on sidewalks, and every other nook and cranny they can find yet the City Council Development, Zoning and Building machine carries on full time with nary a thought for those it doesn’t deem worthy of even equal value to inanimate objects.

Learning things the hard way

I always pray for people to have an epiphany over the alternatives. Learning the hard way is not the optimum choice. It goes the same for leaders, who are just human beings as well.

Here’s an important takeaway for Cappleman et al. – ALL human beings have infinite worth. Buildings, land, bricks, concrete and steel, not so much. Invest in people. Put your time into people. Build for people. Provide for people that need housing, not buildings that need people.

There is nothing inherently wrong with -things- but there is a proper order and priority. Things do not hold a candle next to people. This is not up for debate. Acceptance, delusion or defect are the only options anyone has for this principle.

Buildings are for people, not the other way around. Don’t do a market analysis, do a needs analysis. If people are homeless or under-housed in your own ward, build for them. Do what is needed to house them including financially. Remember, you’re a lawmaker and leader. Make some laws and lead. Stop worrying about what the other wards are doing.

Represent equally ALL the people in the area you were elected to serve.

Have the epiphany or learn the hard way, your choice.

Don’t be spiritually homeless either

Fortunately for me, God’s grace became apparent to me in a slow motion epiphany. 59 years into life, near the end of 2015, I finally asked God to reveal himself on his terms. He did.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the greatest wisdom with everyone reading this, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. This builder preempts all others.

Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Join me and pray for -every- alderman and the Mayor to find out, the hard way if necessary, exactly how painful and scary being homeless is, please. Pray for realistic and compassionate laws and the properly prioritized and honest support of our elected officials.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Be sure to Join the Uptown Outside Facebook Group!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/UptownOutside

#Homeless #Jesus #Chicago