Thursday, September 22, 2005

Documents in regards to correspondence between the 49th Ward office and myself in reference to problems/concerns at Arbour House:

Sent on September 12th:

Good Afternoon,

I am not certain to whom I should send this complaint and would greatly appreciate it if you could direct it to the appropriate department.

I live at ???? W Fargo Ave in Chicago, 60626. My building is neighbored by Arbour Health Care. Since my wife and I have moved in earlier this year we have noticed many activities that raise concerns about the facilities ability to care for and supervise its patients. Initially we had hoped that these would be isolated incidents but recently it has become clear that there are chronic problems at the facility including serious crimes committed within the facility as is evidenced by Citizen iCam.

On more than one occasion we have noticed the sale of drugs to tenants over the fence. One patient was seen smoking illicit drugs (crack) in the alley behind the building and engaging in acts of prostitution. One patient has been seen at least twice walking on the front lawn after having taken his pants down in front of women passing through the neighborhood. Another mentally handicapped patient has tried to forcibly enter our building at least twice that he has been caught. Another female patient has been found lying on the sidewalk directly in front of the building in a disoriented state repeatedly striking herself in the head. This same woman has been seen pan handling in the parking lot of the strip mall where your offices are located. These are just some of the things that my wife and I have witnessed since moving in and we have only been here since May. Other neighbors have seen similar activities and have asked the operators of the facility to address them but nothing has been done. A few weeks ago dozens of old lockers and dressers appeared behind the building providing a breeding ground for rats and nesting places for wasps and bees. Complaining to the management has gotten us nowhere. Several members of our building have decided to escalate the matter by always reporting issues to the police. We have tried to be understanding thus far as we understand that many of the residents have mental handicaps and limited resources. However, since it has been brought to my attention that some of the patients are registered sex offenders I worry for the well being of women and children in my neighborhood when such poor care and supervision is being provided at the facility.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Michael Kaszynski

  • After sending this I was contacted by Wayne stating that the Alderman's Chief of Staff would be contacting the buildings management on September 19th upon his return from vacation.

Sent on September 20th:

Good Morning,

I contacted the ward last week in regards to issues concerning Arbour Health Care. I received a voice mail message indicating that the alderman's chief of staff would be contacting the building's management to address these issues on Sept. 19th. Could you please provide me with any details you have in regards to these issues?

Since my letter last weekend, the board members of our condo association drafted a letter and delivered it to the management of Arbour and I have not seen any action taken to correct these problems. The old cabinets in back of the building remain and there are still issues with some of the residents acting inappropriately while in front of the building without supervision. Just this morning I witnessed a resident smoking marijuana on the patio.

If this matter is not soon resolved I believe it would be appropriate to escalate the matter to the appropriate regulating body. I am sure that the current conditions are far from being within compliance of codes and regulations for a health care facility.

Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Michael Kaszynski

  • After sending this letter I received a call from Kevin stating his actions which I detailed in the following email to people in my building.

Good Afternoon,

I received a call from Kevin at the 49th ward office a few minutes ago. He told me that he had spoken to administrators at Arbour and received the following response to issues that were brought to his attention:

Old cabinets in parking lot.

Administrators claimed that they originally had hoped to donate them to the salvation army but were never picked up and had planned on breaking them down a few at a time and putting them in with the regular trash.

Kevin told them this was unacceptable and that they would need to get a construction dumpster and have them removed at once.

Gentleman who tries to open doors.

He is taken to a work program during the day and drivers were leaving him in front of the building.

He is to be brought inside the premises by the drivers and never to be allowed outdoors unsupervised.

Woman seen engaged in acts of prostitution.

She has been discharged from the facility.

Gentleman who exposes himself.

Apparently, they were well aware of the problem as he exposes himself inside the facility as well.

They are trying to have him discharged but his parents are fighting it. Will follow up as needed.

Drug dealing on the premises and use in public areas by patients.

Management is aware of problems both in and around the facility.

Administrators claim that they are looking into adding additional surveillance cameras to alleviate the problem.

I hope that the operators are true to their word and make the necessary improvements. I thanked the folks at the ward office for working on this and I am hopeful that we will make continued progress in improving our neighborhood. Please let me know if there are any other questions or concerns that you may want addressed whether it be about Arbour or any other problem. I will be more than happy to include them in future correspondence I have with the ward office.

Sincerely,

Michael Kaszynski

5 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You might enjoy reading the essays by Sandy Goldman about Rogers Park and the City. They are at http://andthatsmyopinion.com/

He has lived here for about 50 years and knows a lot of history.

Hugh said...

Michael, your technique of documenting your requests and the responses is a valuable contribution to the dialog in our neighborhood. This simple act will allow neighbors to benefit from your experience. Thanks!

Gundy said...

Are those cabinets worth restoring? Are they still there?

Michael K said...

No. They got rid of them and the reason that noone ever picked them up was that they were falling apart.