Many know him simply as Superman. For the past 26 + years, Jonathan Charbonneau has been a fixture in Glen Ellyn parades and festivals as Superman. Jonathan is 52 years old and has a full time job with Dupage Medical Group. He holds a third degree black belt in karate from Sky Center in Lombard. He is a wealth of knowledge on Chess, Science, Mathematics, and Rocketry, among other subjects. He has lived above the old Soukup's store (now Nobel House) on Main Street for close to 27 years. PLEASE NOTE... NOBEL HOUSE IS NOT THE BUILDING MANAGER/OWNER. LET'S WELCOME THEM TO THE COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING THEM AS WELL AS ALL LOCAL BUSINESSES. Jonathan also has Aspergers Syndrome, on the Autism Spectrum. I have known him for the past seven years and am honored to be a trusted friend. Recently, on September 18th, Jonathan received a back dated 30 day Notice to move from his apartment. This was the first notice of any kind, as Jonathan was given a month to month lease when ownership of the building changed. I spoke with his Landlord for him, and reminded him that he is always one month in advance on his bills. I asked him to reconsider renewing his lease, to which he raised his rent from $455 to $800, a 75% increase. He was asking for it to take effect on October 1st, less than two weeks from his first notice. We have been working with local attorney Peter King and have been able to push back the increase through October. We have been searching for more affordable housing within walking access to the train, as Jonathan does not drive. Jonathan is reluctant to big changes like moving. He is very regimented in his schedule and this has been beyond upsetting to him. I would like to ask the community to consider helping Jonathan remain in his current residence with this new financial burden until we can find him find a safe environment for him to live and thrive. Jonathan appreciates any support you can give.
As the campaign has trended more than we could have ever imagined or hoped, I wanted to give you a little information to questions you may have.
Who am I? Where am I from? What is my relationship to Jonathan, aka Superman?
My name is Julie Spiller and I live in Glen Ellyn, IL. My family moved here in 2007, and my children have gone to Main Street Preschool, Churchill Elementary, Hadley Junior High, and now one at Glenbard West. I am a small business owner in Glen Ellyn, owning Gather & Collect for 7 1/2 years. That is where I met Jonathan nearly 7 years ago. It took time and effort, but Jonathan sees me as a trusted friend and I feel the same of him. Over the years I have helped him with any and all issues he has that alter his regimented comfort zone. This by far has been the most upsetting of circumstances for Jonathan to comprehend. I have to say I feel the same way. I have always appreciated the help from both Ryan Soukup, as well as Doug at Paul's Shoes. Together, we have tried to be his "paperwork parents", even though Jonathan is older than me and a million times smarter. We just want to make sure he is treated fairly.
How will the funds be used? How do we plan on getting the funds to Jonathan? Our original hope/goal was to be able to cover the worst case scenario which is the increase from $455 to $800 plus utilities for a year. Jonathan was comfortable having a 10% increase, not a 75% increase. I think we can all appreciate that! That is where the original $4500 goal came from. I told him we would make sure he had a place to live, and would have a year to reach out to different organizations/social services to see if there was any help available. It is very upsetting and disruptive to Jonathan's life to not have everything organized and planned. The funds were requested so we would have a buffer to take time and make the best decisions about where Jonathan should live. Then ALL OF YOU HAVE BEEN BEYOND SUPPORTIVE! We have had many reach out to help check into the legality of what has happened. I was blessed to have the help of Glen Ellyn Attorney Peter King, who has been integral on communications between me and the owner regarding the lease. Yesterday we agreed to sign a month to month lease at the $800 (75% rent increase) for a max of 6 months, with utilities paid by the landlord, and the ability to leave at anytime with a thirty day notice. We are actively searching for an apartment for Jonathan in Glen Ellyn within a block or two of the train station. Jonathan uses the train as well as bus to get to work in Downers Grove, as well as his Dojo in Lombard. In the meantime, Jonathan is comfortable staying in his current apartment until we can secure a better plan for him. He will use money from the funds to pay the difference in rent increase, and any other fees. We will also be securing renters insurance for him to cover his belongings. We have been contacted by a Special Needs Attorney, who has graciously offered to help set Jonathan up with his finances so that he will have this safety net in place should he ever be unable to work, or lose insurance, etc. Jonathan is very receptive to all of this, in fact I would say he has been "giddy" with everything going on. He feels the love, he feels important, he feels worthy, and mostly, he feels protected like he does for us as Superman. We will be working with the attorney and gofundme together to transfer the funds to Jonathan directly.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will try and answer all of your questions. I can't say "thank you" enough to each and everyone of you. The financial support is shocking and a dream for Jonathan. More important is all of the love he is feeling, and the personal notes you have shared in support. I will be printing each and every note and making them into a book for Jonathan to cherish.
If you have any questions on Jonathan's Asperger's Syndrome or how to approach him, please reach out. He is rather shy and guarded, and requires a little extra time, consideration and space. He would prefer not to be touched, even more now that cold and flu season is approaching. He will often elbow-five you. When asking him questions, give him ample time to think about how he will word his answers. He can get overwhelmed with too many questions. He also hates to be interrupted, which I am guilty of. He will remind you that you are interrupting. Know that he is the most trustworthy man you will ever have the good fortune to meet. My hopes in all of this, is that people understand him, as well as any and ALL special needs persons better. Everyone has their differences, but we all have the capacity to accept and embrace those differences.
Thanks again for all of your support, Julie Spiller on behalf of Jonathan Charbonneau