Save Uptown Homeless Shelter

$1,920 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 46 people in 32 months
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Ryne Poelker
on behalf of Ryne Poelker
 CHICAGO, IL

A 72 bed shelter in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago is at risk of closing due to the Illinois Governor and State Legislator failing to pass a budget. Located in the People's Church at 941 W Lawrence Avenue, the shelter is run by the Interim Housing Program of North Side Housing and Supportive Services. The executive director and board have stated that they will have to close the facility if the state does not pass a budget by July 31st. 

The shelter is open 365 days a year; and in the past year,more than 320 different men spent a total of 18,000 nights at the shelter even during the year's coldest most brutal months.  Hundreds of Uptown's homeless have had to sleep outside this past winter. With another large shelter closing due to a lack of priorities by the people in charge of our state,  scores of more people will be sleeping outside in tents or on the bare ground. 

If the shelter closes this will also have effect on the other services and programs that are managed out of the building. They will be adversely impacted or will cease to exist if the shelter falls through.

Please join with Uptown Tent City, community activists and others in raising money to keep this facility open longer til the state government gets it act together and finds funding for our most vulnerable community members. People should not have to go hungry or sleep outside because of bad politics. 

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Incredible news! The shelter has been saved in the final minutes after people thought it was a done deal! The church as well as the shelter provider thought the closing was imminent as the days went by and as time was running out. However, the shelter in the final hour secured a private grant of $100,000 and the city rushed to make a contract. I was also told that the shelter will have enough funding every consecutive year for a long time. So, they won't be in this situation every 6 months as the state and city try to figure out if homeless shelters should be a priority and be given pocket change in the overall budget.

I put this victory squarely on everyday people like you. Countless people expressed concern, outrage and protest. Without the demonstrations, the massive outcry and the everyday acts of kindness by nameless ordinary people, the politicians would not have felt the heat. Ald. Cappleman and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I'm sure will take much credit on this. However, we know this crisis could have been averted long ago. We also know this building was on the Alderman's real estate hit list way before the budgetary problems this past year. in reality, the pressure in recent days put on them was politically unbearable so they were forced to act. The mayor's pr team couldn't afford having a homeless shelter close two days before Christmas. This was made possible by you. Thank you and we all have reason to celebrate.

Happy Holidays everyone and a happy new years.

- Ryne
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Hello all,

Thank you so much for your heroic generosity. I would like to update people that the shelter closing seems very imminent. As Dick Simpson, former alderman, notable scholar and board member of the shelter provider, has claimed, "This is a complete political failure". At all levels of government, more than enough funds are there that would have kept this facility alive, yet the PRIORITY was not. We have a billionaire governor who had photo-ops at this shelter around the near time of the past state election, a man who owns multiple owns, $10,000 bottles of wine and cars worth more than most Americans' retirement accounts, yet a mere $250,000 a year could not be provided to keep this shelter open right before the Holidays. We have a millionaire mayor who has spent more on slanderous commercials out of his own pocket, than what would take to keep this facility open. Lastly we have Alderman James Cappleman, who has quite the record on homelessness issues. You, the everyday people of our city and country, have done more to raise funds for this shelter than this current alderman. Looking at the alderman's real estate agenda and immense campaign contributions, I do sincerely believe that he wanted this shelter closed and he wanted it closed years before this budget impasse. He would regularly send inspectors to harass the church, looking for every code violation they could find to shut them down years before this budget crisis. Chicago Flats, an Uptown developer whose affiliates have donated to the alderman's campaigns and who the alderman considers "a very good friend", have shown interest in the past for purchasing this building years before the state budget impasse was even on the horizon. This closure has shown both who has our local government's priority and whose interests do they really serve.

As the odds are against us in keeping this shelter alive, I would like to tell you that we are still giving funds to the shelter provider, Northside Housing and Supportive Services, due to the countless other programs they operate and the countless homeless individuals who have been put into permanent housing through their work. Even if the shelter closes, we are still raising money in a last dicth effort this holiday season hoping for miracle. If you have objections to us giving your money to this shelter provider even with the closure, please message me and I will be able to provide you your money back. There have been other gofundme collections that have been set up not affiliated with me or the shelter provider, who seem questionable. I want to provide every guarantee I can to show you where the money is going.

I wish you all happy holidays,

Ryne Poelker

PS I've attached a thank you letter from the shelter provider's Development Manager to once again assure you where the money is going. Wouldn't it be nice if we had the same transparency from our country's politicians?
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Wonderful news. It appears the Uptown homeless shelter that was at risk will remain open afterall, or at least for the rest of the year. Thank you to all who donated. We will still raise and donate what we have gathered in such a short amount of time to help them with some of their expenses as it appears they are still in a precarious situation.

http://www.northsidehousing.org/
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"The new spending plan provides funding to cover critical state operations including the payment of the utilities used at state prisons and mental health centers as well as gasoline and vehicle repairs for vehicles driven by the Illinois State troopers"

Don't know if this will include the shelter's funding. We should still raise to help with some of the shelter's expenses like food and rent payments. 250 in a few hours is great!
http://fox2now.com/2016/06/30/illinois-lawmakers-approve-stopgap-budget-deal/
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$1,920 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 46 people in 32 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created June 30, 2016
Ryne Poelker
on behalf of Ryne Poelker
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$20
Anonymous
26 months ago
$20
Valerie English-Ramig
26 months ago

May God intervene and give our precious needy ones a warm meal and place to lay their head.

CM
$20
Christopher Macsurak
26 months ago

I hope with all the news coverage the donations start coming in faster.

$10
Anonymous
26 months ago
$20
Anonymous
26 months ago
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