Sunnyside, Morningside and the Darkside

no-trespassing

 

no-playground
Sunnyside, Morningside and the Darkside

by Kathy Powers
September 28, 2016

 

 

Mr. Cappleman, where’s our people now?
The students, parents, teachers?
The children on the climbing bars
The homeless in the tents?

Mr. Cappleman, where’s our voices now?
The laughter, cries and cheers?
The poor men’s cry for justice
The song of unity in home?

Mr. Cappleman, where’s our morals now?
We shred and tear for bits.
You smile and then you take our tents,
You take our choice to live.

Mr. Cappleman, where’s your dignity?
Mr. Cappleman, here’s our dignity!
Mr. Cappleman, here’s our respect!
Mr. Cappleman, where’s your respect?

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last-tent

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NO TIF FOR THE RICH: Build something more affordable!

MontroseClarendon

From Ward 46 Newsletter

“CLARENDON/MONTROSE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

Next Tuesday, June 21, the Maryville project will go before the City Council Finance Committee, and then, if it passes, for a full vote before the entire City Council the following day. This is a $15.8M TIF development that is located entirely on tax-exempt property, and therefore has no money available in it until a development is built and begins to create tax revenue. Approximately one-third of this TIF amount will go toward rehabbing the Clarendon Park Community Center, which is the only way funding for this can be obtained.

Approximately another third of this TIF will go toward rental subsidies for people with extremely low incomes, the ones who are most at risk for becoming homeless. Because on-site affordable housing is for people earning 50% of the area median income or more, people who are currently living with homelessness would likely never meet the income requirements to live at this development. CHA is not allowed to provide units for this development because the poverty rate is too high for this census tract.

The developer will pay the costs upfront for the Clarendon Park Community Center and the contribution to the Low Income Housing Trust Fund. Once this TIF has been paid off, this property will be on the tax rolls for the first time since 1939. To view the plans for this site, http://james46.org/projects/46th-ward-zoning-development-committee/.”

Body Bag Project: Mental Health Movement

 

An excellent write-up of the Mental Health Movement’s Body Bag’s Project is found at http://streetwise.org/2016/03/body-bags-project/!

Many people do not realize the need for public mental health safety nets to help persons with mental illness stay out of prison, stay out of nursing homes, become homeless and/or not suicide.

So far, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) dragged their feet since Obamacare came out and STILL has not contracted to any managed care organization. The Community Mental Health Advisory Board that consists of clinic users and shuttered users continues to ask the important safety net questions and advise the CPDH on proven effective methods for treating the pandemic spread of mental illness. The closed clinics need reopening because not all of the neediest areas are covered: there are only 5 clinics on Chicago’s south side and only 1 on Chicago’s north side. All of this while Cook County Jail teems with persons with serious mental illness.

Bodybag Flyer

Illinois Home Services Program Attempts to Cut Lifeline Services to Persons with Disabilities

Home-Care-WorkerAs an advocate concerned about the Home Services Program (HSP), I find capping IP services hours egregious! HSP, critically important to thousands of people with disabilities across the state of Illinois, ensures that everyday HSP customers receive care from their Individual Providers (IPs).
Capping the hours that IPs can work at 40 will mean that people with disabilities will not be able to access personal care assistance. In most places throughout Illinois, HSP consumers cannot find, hire and keep decent good IPs.
Parents, siblings and other relatives who act as IPs, with whom Illinois desires to cut work hours below 40 hours, jeopardizes financial and supportive IP, positive outcomes and quality of life. Until more effective policies emerge for persons with disabilities, this reduction of IP hours becomes cumbersome, undo-able and strict.
HSP customers and IPs deserve flexibility, not rigidity. Please eliminate the cap hours a week is too harsh and will put too many people’s lives at risk.
Photo from http://blog.abbeyspanier.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Home-Care-Worker.jpg

STATE OF OUR STATE: ALLIANCE IN ACTION on the ROAD TO RECOVERY 

By James Jones – Metropolitan Family Services
January 26, 2016

This morning we are embarking on a trip to try to save stable and productive lives, at least in Illinois. Cutting the programs for mental health facilities in this state shows an apathy that could very well cause a travesty that could also prove tragic. We have seen on buses, on the streets, and even in programs for help, people with oftentimes severe mental disturbances that could be potentially dangerous. This is why this trip is so mandatory to many of us who need these programs just as much as any with a physical impairment. If someone had a broken arm or shattered ribs, you would want them to get medical attention immediately. But a broken psyche or shattered nerves, then what would you do? The answers to that do not come as easily because of the intricate workings of the mind. This is just one of the many reasons we must protest in numbers against the cuts to our communities, to stem the illnesses before they grow out of control.
Also, the stigma attached to mental illness is far greater than the physical could ever be. Derogatory terms for mental illness are plentiful, many used in everyday conversation. If the same would be said about someone in a wheelchair or crutches, it would be deemed cruel and distasteful. But mental illness, at whatever level it would be, is fair game for ridicule unless it is hushed up, swept under the rug, or in lower levels, ignored. These have not been effective methods to achieve mental wellness.
That is why this Road to Recovery to Springfield is so important; to have our voices heard. If no one speaks out there will be no attention or empowerment, and without these, there can be no recovery. We must stress the need for these programs clearly, distinctively, and in no uncertain terms. We have the right to stand firm and express that we cannot take this lying down. Remember that many would most likely be closer to stability had it not been for previous cuts; those many who could have lived productive lives and helped more clients in need by giving their stories as examples. We have gained great strides in the education and treatment of mental disturbance and made far too much progress to stagnate or regress. We will not slow down as we approach the finish line, or listen to nay-sayers who say we will not make it or try to cast us idly aside.
This is why it is so invigorating to be part of such a huge assemblance of different mental health services coming together for such a needed common cause, battling for the soul of Illinois. Not only did we experience unity in numbers but truth in numbers, which is one of the most powerful strengths of all, giving us a renewal of spirit in case the foibles of red tape leave us frustrated and downtrodden.
It is also ironic that I felt a sense of mass therapy with so many groups converging on Springfield showing that we care enough to come to the heart of the state to let our feelings be heard, if not heeded. It is a gamble if our showing will make a difference…Whether or not the [legislators] actually do anything legislatively, they can’t say they didn’t hear our voices loud and clear. That the funding for our facilities cannot be sliced to the bone. They cannot ignore that we made a bold statement in the state capitol. We pitched straight, now it’s up to them to catch.

Mpowered | Government Affairs & Strategic Initiatives
Metropolitan Family Services
One North Dearborn, Suite 1000 | Chicago, IL 60602
P: 312-986-4227 (direct) | F: 312-986-4334
www.metrofamily.org | jenningt@metrofamily.org

Mental Health Summit(1) Concerns about the Four-Drug Limit in Public Act 97-0689, the “SMART Act”(2)

This is a summary of a recently issued Mental Health Summit paper. -Kap

Governor Quinn signed the “Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together (the “SMART” Act) into law on July 1, 2012 to reduce Medicaid spending.  The Act requires that any Medicaid beneficiary receive no more than four medications in any month without prior authorization from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). Consequently, serious concerns about harm occurring to people with mental illness include:

  • More than one psychotropic medication and others may be needed to manage side effects resulting from these medications.
  • Medications may be needed to treat co-occurring chronic illness, e.g., diabetes, hypertension, morbid obesity, hypothyroidism, movement disorders, etc.
  • Medications may be needed to treat non-psychiatric illnesses.
  • Closed mental health centers(3) and movement from nursing homes and other Institutions for Mental Disease (IMDs) to appropriate community housing mandated from lawsuits(4,5) place thousands of persons with serious mental illness into the community who need multiple medications. Restriction to medication access for persons with serious mental illnesses heightens health care costs by increased Emergency Room visits, inpatient hospitalizations and symptom recurrence.

The SMART Act provides additions to the four-drug limit with prior authorization (PA). Unfortunately, the PA system appears unfeasible because:

  • It is not equipped to handle all of the 200,000+ persons with serious mental illness who already take more than four prescription medications.
  • An electronic PA system is not in place to make authorization manageable for physicians to use. Doctors might hesitate to go through the time and expense to negotiate PA to serve their poor Medicaid patients.
  • Illinois has no published standards for PA, further discouraging physician participation.
  • As an interim measure, DHFS made a decision to initiate a temporary ten-drug limit, however, 72,000 Medicaid recipients already exceed this ten-drug limit.

Accordingly, the drug-limit restriction is fiscally unsound and BAD MEDICINE! A dialogue with legislative leaders, DHFS and the community about some prospective changes may avert an impending health care disaster:

  1. Permanently eliminate the four-drug limit.
  2. Amend the SMART Act to exempt the four-drug limit for disabled Medicaid recipients.
  3. Amend the SMART Act to exempt psychotropic medications for disabled Medicaid recipients.
  4. Improve the PA system by creating a viable, transparent PA submissions process with published standards and procedures.

________________________________

(1)    Mental Health Summit, 6020 S. University Ave., Chicago, IL 60637,
http://www.law.uchicago.edu/clinics/mandel/mental/summit.

(2)   Senate Bill 2840.

(3)   Tinley Park and Singer Mental Centers.

(4)   Williams v. Quinn – Successful class action lawsuit sought community-living alternatives for residents with mental illnesses in Illinois ordered on September 29, 2010.

(5)    Colbert v Quinn – Successful class action lawsuit sought Medicaid-eligible nursing home residents in Cook County with the array of supports and services that they need in the most  integrated settings appropriate to their needs ordered on December 20, 2011.

Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic Funeral

Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic Funeral

On Monday, July 16th, 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Howard and Paulina Streets, the handful of mourners included ex-clients of the Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic, members of the Northside Action for Justice, and well-wishers who grieved for and laid to rest a casket symbolic of the clinic at its former home at 1607 West Howard Street. The tear-stained mourners hung a wreathe inside the door of the building to remind the community of its significant loss. The mourners were too grief-stricken to celebrate the ceremonial ground breaking of a four million dollar project for Howard Street beautification that Alderman Joseph Moore staged during the funeral.

The Rogers Park Business Alliance and Alderman Joseph Moore hosted a ceremonial ground breaking for decorative street lighting, stamped crosswalks, landscaped planters and 68 new trees with tree grates priced at $4,000,000. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Representative Kelly Cassidy and representatives from Howard Street Special Service Area #19 and the City of Chicago Department of  Transportation also attended. The politicians’ group convened at the Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard, to greet the park’s new supervisor, Jerry Wallace, and enjoyed a complimentary breakfast, courtesy of Pete’s Grill.

Alderman Moore did not acknowledge the mental health clinic’s group, but Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky personally acknowledged the clinic’s mourners, stating hope in upcoming ACA (Obama’s health plan).

Sadly, street beautification trumps mental health.

–Kathy Powers
7/18/12

–John Powers, Photography

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