Going PADS-Less


Last Friday we suggested another alternative to locating a PADS homeless shelter at St. Paul of the Cross: Locating it at the Park Ridge Senior Center, where there are no children and where the hours of operation are more compatible with the PADS operation. 

PADS supporters Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark and one of his more generous campaign contributors, local attorney Jack “Mr. Insider” Owens, are both reportedly Senior Center members, so we’re pretty sure they could convince their fellow members to put a PADS shelter there.  Plus fellow PADS supporter Dick Barton is the Park Ridge Park District Board president, so the three of them should be able to work some intergovernmental cooperation magic with the Senior Center, a Park District facility, if they really want to.

There’s a Park Board meeting this Thursday (July 17) at 7:30 p.m. at Park District headquarters (the Maine Leisure Center, 2701 Sibley).  If anybody wants to sound out Mr. Barton and the Park Board members about whether the Park District would support the Senior Center as an alternative to St. Paul of the Cross for a PADS shelter, that would be a good time to do it. 

Meanwhile, we received the following 12-point proposal from one of the Concerned St. Paul parents, and it appears to have even more merit than the Senior Center – because it takes the Palatine-based PADS corporation (PADS to HOPE, Inc.) out of the equation and puts local resources totally under local control to focus on our local homeless:

1. We DO NOT INVOLVE the PADS people at all. Their screening is not satisfactory and their program has been dangerous in other towns. Their system only offers one night of undignified help and invites in homeless from other towns. PADS will increase the homeless population in Park Ridge. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

2. The Park Ridge Police Department would locate and identify the PARK RIDGE HOMELESS (which likely number 6-10 individuals). The PARK RIDGE HOMELESS are then fingerprinted to ensure that none of these individuals are a danger to us or our children.

3. Every church in PRMA would shelter one homeless person per night. This idea eliminates a large group assembling around a church before and after they are sheltered.

4. The homeless would be sheltered in the rectory or another location in the church, but not in an area used by children.

5. Volunteers (and there are many) would be scheduled to come to each location, actually meet the homeless person, and bring a warm meal. Many volunteers and their families may want to spend time with the guest, have dinner with them, and engage them in meaningful conversation. (Rather than just “supervise” them as PADS volunteers do.) This would be a great way to teach children about how to care for others.

6. An additional volunteer can take the persons clothing home to be washed and returned fresh and clean (something else that is lacking in the current plan.)

7. With this system, the homeless can also spend time with one of our priests and discuss our faith (something that is actually prohibited by PADS policy).

8. Unlike the PADS idea, the homeless would not be forced to share a bathroom with 10-20 other homeless people, or wait in line for a toilet.

9. A comfortable fold out bed can be purchased for the guest to sleep on, in a dignified location, rather than on a hard mat or cot on the floor of a gym.

10. The guest could have access to a shower, a television set, and caring people. The PADS system would require the homeless to wash themselves in a sink in the boys bathroom.

11. In the morning, the guest would have breakfast and leave – showered, wearing clean clothes, and feeling that they just spent time with good Christian people who truly care about them. Their experience would be far more meaningful and dignified than any PADS shelter could offer.

12. Finally, as the guest leaves, he would be told which church to go to that night. That would ensure that only one person shows up at each location. It also ensures that we take care of the Park Ridge homeless, and not people from Chicago and other suburbs.

Additionally, this program addresses the issue 7 days a week. PADS only addresses it for one day. This program spreads the homeless out at numerous churches, rather than a large number at one location.

Frankly, this proposal sounds a whole lot more “Christian” than the one-night-per-week, feel-good-with-minimal-inconvenience PADS version that the Park Ridge Ministerial Association leaped to embrace for reasons we still can’t quite understand, unless all those “Christians” running the PRMA really were looking only for a no muss, no fuss turn-key operation that required the least possible commitment and accountability – a Christianity “Lite” version more concerned with expanding the PADS franchise to a new community then with actually solving our local homeless problem.

And better yet, the Concerned Parent proposal would be more likely to maintain the local homeless people’s ties to this community, thereby increasing the chances of their escaping homelessness at rates that exceed the meager results that PADS has been producing from its “if it’s Tuesday, this must be Schaumburg” musical-communities model.

Plus it looks to us like the Senior Center proposal and the Concerned Parent proposal could be pursued on parallel tracks simultaneously.  That’s good, because either of them appears to be a substantial improvement over the current St. Paul PADS plan.  

Well done, Concerned St. Paul Parent!  And another good idea produced by the NIMBY mentality.

63 comments so far

Pardon my confusion. In reading past posts about PADS and how many cons there are that come with it, I find myself confused now on what side of PADS does W.D. fall on? Are you in favor of inviting PADS into town regardless of location , or would you rather PADS NOT come into town at all? I was under the impression that along with the bad behavior of the PRMA that W.D. was really NOT in favor of the pads program as a whole.

However now….. you are suggesting an alternative site?!?!?! I don’t get it! Have you changed your minds about the whole thing or what?
Do you think we have a homeless proplem that requires suggeting different sites in town and that we SHOULD invite PADS and all the baggage that comes along with it or is the whole idea a bunch of crap and should not be supported by the community as a whole? Because giving the idea a differnt venue won’t change all the previous arguments about the PADS program and all the “stuff” that it’s attached to i.e. city resources and city funding to name a few.

I’m only asking because I suddenly got mixed signals and I wanted to be clear on the matter, as a non-pads supporter. Is PADS a bad idea because of it’s attachment to the church? Or is it just a bad idea period? Or is PADS a good idea as long as it’s not in a church but a public facility? And by the way if it goes into a public facility, the funding request would be even greater, and would most definatly require further city and community requirements. Just keep that on mind when suggesting community property.

As long as the PRMA was spearheading the project
the community always had the arguement that the PRMA wasn’t speaking for and making the decissions for the community at large. Offering a community building as an alternative site now implies that “we the community” have embraced this program and are willing to put forth our taxes to support it and set aside all the fears, concerns and issues that have been addressed since this whole thing began. Is that the message you are now trying to send?

From all that we have seen, heard and read about PADS (as opposed to HOPE, which appears to be a far more substantial program), we do not consider it an effective program for meaningfully addressing the issue of homelessness. Consequently, if Park Ridge is to provide temporary shelter to the homeless, we prefer a home-grown program such as what the Concerned Parent proposed.

Since it appears that the PRMA, several of our local politicians, and a number of our residents support the PADS program, however, we recognize the political reality that if the PADS supporters push for an ineffective PADS shelter over other alternatives and the PADS shelter can qualify for a special use permit, a PADS shelter somewhere may be what we get stuck with. Accordingly, we would prefer a PADS shelter at the Senior Center as a better alternative than one at St. Paul of the Cross.

But if we had our way, no PADS shelter would open in Park Ridge until the City placed the issue on the November ballot as an advisory referendum question, and the results of that referendum were analyzed and publicly debated by the City in a way that PADS and the PRMA successfully avoided until they announced it as a “done deal” at St. Mary’s at the beginning of this year. (In case you haven’t noticed, we hate deals that are “done” without plenty of advance notice and public input).

I thought I would give a different perspective from the medical standpoint. I am a physician who volunteers in a Chicagoland PADS clinic.
I technically “evaluate” the people. I say “evaluate” because this is all I do. Do they get proper medical care? NO. Are they sick? Yes.
What exactly do I see here and what would be coming into Park Ridge?
Community Acquired MRSA is very high
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Arthropod Diseases, including head and pubic lice
MULTIPLE Psychiatric disorders, including rampant schizophrenia
Drug Use

And this is not an extensive list.

I understand the need to help them. But I also understand that having a shelter, much less in an elementary school gym is not going to solve anything. PADS in itself has only placed a band aid on a huge gaping wound. The Park Ridge Community will be have not only the physical dangers that the PADS members will bring, including child sexual preditors, as they will have plenty of access to children, but also place the residents at both physical and medical risk. I think that the members of St Paul who are rushing to have this shelter, must realize that they are putting MANY people at risk. I am a firm believer in helping others, as I have dedicated my life to serving the sick, but my primary job is “to do no harm.” I think Fr Carl should also take a look not at only the people he may help for a few hours, but the many people he may harm in the near future.

To “Young Physician”…I appreciate your information. Those are disturbing facts. However, while I am grateful that the ‘Dog has given you and others the opportunity to express your views, the testimony you have really really needs to be brought forth in a wider public forum. The next City Council meeting is Monday July 21. I urge you to present your story again at that time.

I would have to say to you then, with all do respect……you have conceeded to the PRMA and they have now introduced and dictated public policy via a private mission and convinced you to take this on as a community by suggesting a community location. It’s a win win for them now isn’t it?

This was their idea, and a problem THEY must deal with. Accepting and taking on the challenge to seak out a location that the city could provide was something that Pastor Larson suggested 3-4 months ago at a city council meeting. I must say it was a bad idea then and is a bad idea now. DO NOT GIVE THEM THE OUT!!!!
Make them fix what they broke…..The parish, the trust, our community. For Gods sake why on earth would you now come to their aid with a compromise or solution?!? It’s their obligation to right the wrongs and find they propor location, to regain trust(not) and it is they who should apply and fight along with pads to comply with our laws and go through any and all city processes.

If there is a better location than the church then let the PRMA and PADS seek one out and let them foot the bill for it. For Pete’s sake don’t offer up a city, park district, or any other tax
payed location. Have you gone completly mad?!?!?

Double Take:

With all due respect, we have not conceded anything to the PRMA.

To the contrary, we have challenged its members to consider locations beyond those they control. We have also challenged members of the Senior Center who are PADS supporters, elected representatives and/or prominent community figures to consider sites beyond those controlled by the local clergy.

Pastor Larson’s attempt to burden local government officials and staff was and remains inappropriate. But if the Senior Center ends up being the only alternative to St. Paul that the PRMA will consider, that’s still an improvement – and we would expect the Park District to charge them a user fee that eliminates any financial burden on the taxpayer.

However, we at PublicWatchdog are not the City. We are ordinary citizens willing to consider issues from all angles of public policy and provide an open forum for meaningful discussion – like the alternatives to St. Paul and to PADS.

Individual housing of local homeless at the homes/rectories of PRMA clergy or homeless shelter supporters makes far more sense than a PADS “franchise.” Wonder why the clergy and supporters didn’t think of it.

Are you kidding? Give the needy a place to rest in homes/rectories . . . . PRMA stated that they want PADS because they can’t be bothered to answer the “KNOCKS AT THE DOOR”.

Does anyone besides me know that there are more people being placed at risk, unecessary risk, for this? Please people, understand that this is a major medical problem also

Don’t forget about the pastor at United Methodist who was put out because he had to drive that nice young homeless man all the way out to the Mt. Prospect PADS because that was the closest one open. Pastor apparnelty didn’t want the bother of letting the kid sleep on a couch at the rectory.

Q: What would Jesus do? A: Drive the little beggar to another town. Sweet.

Hi all,
I think that everyone has a point. We all want to help the less fortunate, that is for sure. But are we? The homeless stay overnight. Then what. We throw them out during the winter months at 6:30AM? That just does not make much sense. I assume that they have no where to go, much less how would they get there? So, what have any of us done? Made ourselves feel better?

Anon 7/14 6:32 pm
Oh yes, I remember and that pastor complained because it took him a whole 3 hours round-trip to drive that Park Ridge boy!!!

i liked the days inn solution, especially with the continental breakfast thrown in.

i couldn’t attend last week’s meeting at st. paul, but why were only pastor carl and the pads people allowed to present, and not the concerned st. paul parents? that sounds like a one-sided situation.

I am with E.E.
Truly this is not only a situation involving Fr Carl and his saintly entourage. If they are putting a shelter into OUR city, WE as citizens and TAXPAYERS BETTER be involved.

Journeys from PADS to HOPE, Inc. executive director, B Nabors maintains that most “guests” have jobs, and need to take public transportation to their place of employment. I’m still having trouble believing that whopper.

I am with E.E.
If Fr Carl and his Saintly entourage are going to use OUR city, WE as TAXPAYERS better become involved.

To Anonymous with e.e.,

Do you have a preferred version of your comment?

alpha female..
It can’t be said enough

Stet it, as you wish. 

Why is everyone so opposed to PADS?

What is wrong with a group who is dedicated to helping others? Lord knows none of you are concerned with helping anyone but yourselves.

PADS, their employees and volunteers are doing more than any of you are doing.

Those who can do, those who can’t complain.

Go ahead flame me, but when you know I’m right.

Mayor Liemark,

We cordially invite you to spend some quality time with our archives, as well as with those on the U’ground blog.

Once more, it seems reasonable to suggest that neither you nor anyone else can claim to know what the people [here] are doing, in relation to the homeless issue or any other, unless they have stated such. 

Do whatever you want Mayor.
I guess it is your city….til re-election time.

I’m going to go out on a limb and offer that “Mayor Liemark” is probably not THE Mayor.

As if you were some genius alpha female!

Simply seizing upon an opportunity.

“Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one ustn’t misuse it. “–JP II
Through all the fighting,
May God bless and keep you all safe and healthy
-The Doc

Physician, heal thyself.

The “opportunity seized” was to make it clear to Howard P. Frimark Insurance, who reads our blog almost every day before proceeding to the U’ground, that we are aware of the “misuse” of THE Mayor’s name and that we want to make it clear to our readers that the poster was probably not, in fact, THE Mayor.

It all seems rather petty and ridiculous, but then we are familiar with the mindset of the man in question.

Dont question if I am healed. I am and I live in God. All I wanted to say, nicely after all this, is to take care.
Have even kind comments left this place?
Guess JP II is right, Stupidity is a human gift, apparantly overused from Alpha-questionable Female.

There is no question in my mind as to the state of your “health”, therefore I posed no question.

I explained what you do not understand.

Perhaps the God you are living in will see fit to assist you where needed.

Good luck.

I’m so sick of EVERYONE claiming to be doing what Jesus wants and interpreting what Jesus would do. For crying out loud, since when are Christians the only people who care about anyone? This narrow minded thinking assumes that there are no philanthropic Jews, Muslims, Buddists or even Athiests for that matter. Sorry. I don’t believe this is a “Christian issue.” Its a humanitarian issue.

What a perfect plan. While I have not seen any homeless in Park Ridge I can believe that there are some. This plan would be addressing what PRMA wanted to address all along – the Park Ridge Homeless. Let’s face it even for the staunchest anti-PADS person, which I am one, the plan is perfect. If Park Ridge has homeless, we ARE already dealing with all of the things that scare us – disease, safety, mentally illness, drugs and of course craping on the front stairs. Let’s face it whether it’s the homeless or our perfect Park Ridge teenagers, getting too many of them together is bound to be trouble. Housing them separately in multiple locations across Park Ridge keeps them from congregating in large numbers and in theory out of any more trouble than they already might be to the community.
And clearly the for the staunchest pro-PADS person the plan is also perfect – housing, feeding cleaning and maybe even counseling the homeless of Park Ridge 7 days a week – what more could they ask for. That is of course unless the one or more of the conspiracy theories floating around are in fact true. Oh there is one more great thing about this plan, it takes into account that the Park Ridge homeless would be exposed to many different religions not just Catholicism – this being America that’s got to be worth something.
So my question is where are all the wonderful Christians now? How come they haven’t flooded the blog with praise for this plan? They certainly seem to flood the blogs with threats that the Archdiocese is going to sue Park Ridge. They got no problems calling me a bad Christian for not supporting PADS. What give people? Is the plan is too good? Too Christian? Maybe you didn’t want to be THAT Christian on this homeless thing.
This is going to get very interesting. If the goal is housing and feeding the Park Ridge homeless then were done. Put the plan into action. If the goal is having the religious folks pushing around the town people than the fight goes on. Let’s face it, if every community enacts the same plan then there is no need for PADS. Every community takes care of their own… Perfect..

I was just sitting here on my fat ass admiring my last post (I guess I shouldn’t take credit for that statment it was posted my some Christian named anonymous on this blog or the underground blog) when it occured to me just how funny the term “Christian lite” really is.
The Sunday church go’ers who M’F me when they almost hit me and my kids coming out of the church parking lot – would they be Christian lite’s? How about the holier than thou person that is banging one or two girls, or guys, on the side, inspite of his wife and his or hers children – would they be Christian lites? Would the preists who molested the alter boys be Christian lites? How about the Bishops and Cardinals that looked the other way – Christian lites??? Just who is a full fat Christian?? The Pope??
Pub Dog you really cracked me up with that one… Christian lites!!!!! Perfect

OOP’s a few spelling and grammer errors – please forgive me.

Please visit Glen Ellyn for a look at how the PADS rotating shelters work and grow within a community. We have three shelters, three locations,three days, running NOW…in the summer. The “clients” commute from Wheaton and other areas. I assume the Northwest Suburban PADS “clients” will be welcome to follow the schedule from Des Plaines, Arlington Heights…
You have a strong, caring community. Minister to your people through your churches and have some control. There are obviously many who care. Don’t divide your community over this. We also have a community group web site regarding this issue. Good Luck.

“Christian-Lite” is exactly right. Tell yourself you’re holier than the person next to you in the pew because you “volunteer” for one four-hour shift one night a week to watch 10-20 homeless people from wherever sleep in a gym because the priests and ministers can’t be bothered to do more about the situation than call in the semi-“pros” from PADS.

I don’t pretend to know God any better than all these pro-PADS people, but He/She must have a twisted sense of humor to let this joke continue. (“How little can we actually do for the homeless to feel good about ourselves and make it look like we care about them?”)

W.D., I’m still conflicted by your answer. You may think you have given the PRMA a chanllange. But all you did was offer Park District property as an alternative. Clearly you have a bug up your butt about the Senior Center and for that you feel it appropriate to offer it to the PRMA to accomplish their primary goal to educate all of us heathens on how to do the right thing (according to them) and to dictate public policy through a religious belief. I don’t believe SPC asked for alternitive sites, but rather an altenitve site-the senior center was offered by you.

I’ not sure how community proerty would allow for more control than a church property. If required to go through the special use process,conditions would be put into that S.U. and will need to be followed by both the church and PADS. If they won’t agree, they simply don’t open. As long as the church would supply volunteers and food donations it’s still a “church program” regarless of venue. I’m simply saying don’t offer OUR community sites to them. I mean really… why stop at the senior center then, why not the library, the community center, or even the public works building. Surely there are people who frequent or even work at any of those places may also be PADS supporters.

Listen, I believe on the fundamentals of this issue, we agree. But I have a proplem getting on board with offering up ANY public community property to the PRMA. It just seems to me that by doing so, they win, and with what appears to be with community support. Even if that is not your intention, outwardly that’s the appearence it gives. Their mission, their decission, no warning, religios intimidation, name calling, and no community input, forewarning, or consideration. but here…take a public, community bulding to do gods work. I DON”T THINK SO.

Double Take:

We didn’t “offer” anybody anything, because Park District property isn’t ours to offer. We suggested the Senior Center merely as a better alternative to St. Paul (a bad choice) because the SC is available during the target hours, there are no children there, and it has space and amenities roughly comparable to St. Paul’s. We much prefer Concerned Parent’s idea over anything PADS.

But your comparing the SC to “the library, the community center, or even the public works building” is, in a word, silly; or, if you prefer, stupid. If you can’t figure out the differences for yourself, we have no chance of explaining it to you.

If the PRMA members and PADS supporters had as much intellectual honesty and civic mindedness as they have religious zeal and self-righteousness, they would (a) admit that a PADS homeless shelter is a civic issue and not a “religious ministry”; (b) petition the City Council to put the issue to an advisory referendum this November; and (c) agree in advance to be bound by the result. Or they could do the “right” thing and adopt the Concerned Parent plan.

But from what we’ve seen of the PRMA over the past few months, we’re not going to hold our breath waiting for them to choose any of those alternatives.

If you remain conflicted, we suggest a good therapist.

I hate to dissagree again, but, at 7:00 am when the “guests” would be leaving the senior center our Lincoln Middele School children will be on their merry way. Shortly after that, our Wahington Elementary Shool children also skipping happily past the lingering “guests”.
Oh yea, how about on Sunday evening at 6:30- 6:45 while waiting to enter for the night, anyone, inclunding the children who are going to the community center will surely be greated by our freindly PADS guests.

Then what we would need is further police presence to avoid any disruption to our childrens
before school activities, by the way, the middle school children do have lunch money in their pockets.

I’m sure that SPC parents are not the ONLY concerned parents in town. Fair enough?

Yet another fine alternative, ship the homeless to Glen Ellyn. Their community welcomes them and they are running a much better program then PRMA is proposing for Park Ridge.
I still think the concerned parent plan is better than the PADS program in Glen Ellen. Were talking housing the homeless 7 days a week not just the 3 that Glen Ellen is doing and tere is no reason this plan couldn’t go on all year long. Concerned parents plan is more complete and more dignified than ANY PADS shelter could ever be.

This is not a religious issue at all. It is a city issue. City members and their children are at risk. Fr and his “sheep” as is portrayed well on parkridge should take a step out of fantasy land and enter into the real world!

Ship them out of town. Now there is a caring community for you.

You are just bad people.

I cannot wait until the PADS shelter opens that first night in October and I can see the look on your faces at the ribbon cutting.

Cool your jets, Double Take. I’m not in favor of a PADS ANYWHERE in Park Ridge, but you can’t compare the effect of a PADS shelter INSIDE a school to the effect of it merely NEAR a school. Even the St. Mary’s neighbors I’ve talked to get that difference.

I think Watchdog has it right, together with e.e.: The Concerned Parent idea is best, followed by a motel, followed by the Senior Center. No school should be considered, and no church in a residential neighborhood should be considered.

Mayor Liemark:

These PADS homeless come from “out of town,” so their being shipped into Park Ridge. As for ribbon cuttings, we know Mayor FRImark will be there – he doesn’t miss any of those, and he’s got the photo ops to go with them. Can you say “shameless self promoter”?

Clarification: The above info. on Glen Ellyn was a WARNING. Research the impact PADS has had on our community. Please check out

I too have spoken to many St. Mary’s neighbors, some of which have fall victim to the double whammy of living on Fairview and belonging to SPC. However, when dicussing the issues of the location of St. Mary’s being an inappropriate location, one of the bullet points was that Crescent ave. was a designated safe zone for childrn walking to the Middle school.

So tell me, how would locating the homeless across the street from the Middle school and less than a block (on the same side of the street) from an elementary school make more sense? Still the same issue, children walking to school, only now they are in a larger concentation by being at or near school grounds.

Don’t misunderstand me, I in no way believe it shoud be at SPC, but let’s not split hairs, in a school, across the street from a school, or anywhere else that there is the possibility of direct access to our children is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!! This mullarkey about teaching our children about the homeless problem, doesn’t mean putting them in harms way to learn about

And offering (oh sorry) suggesting a community building is irresponsible. Think about this if it goes into a Community building then the oporations now fall into city hands, which may sound like a good idea until you realize that we then would need a committee or comission to oversee the operation. Who’s going to be on those committee’s do you suppose? Perhaps we’d get luckey enough to fill those seats with anti-pads, strict rule following, hold them to the letter of the special use conditions people. But wait… the city didn’t ask for this, it wasn’t proposed by the city, and is not a city issue by nature. As said by our acting CP&D director Carrie Davis. So round and round we go. Where PADS stops nobody knows.

double take, your lengthy ramblings suggest a weak thought process.

it is clear that you don’t want a pads shelter here, but you are way off base in not recognizing that the senior center is a far better choice than st. paul’s is, or that st. mary’s was.

and your statements about the pads shelter falling into city hands and requiring a commission if it goes into the park district’s senior center is (as a previous post suggested to another of your comments) silly or stupid. and just plain wrong, i might add.

The Senior Center members are very charity minded. They get money from the city and other sources so they can do the Meals On Wheels program. I think they would welcome the idea of serving the homeless.

That said, like the other people here the St. Paul parents idea is the best one for all the reasons they said.

Thank you for letting me comment.

Folks, everyone really needs to look at this site that was posted by Glen Ellyn resident.

The latest posting is about an arrest at a PADS shelter there – one of the charges is public intoxication! Isn’t that one of the things PADS says won’t happen with their “guests”?

Read through the site. The homeless are hanging out in parks, libraries, train stations, etc. Just the things people are concerned about here and the things that are being dismissed by the PRMA and the pro-PADS folks.

Im with the PR President. I have worked in PADS! I left comments yesterday about what I see in it.
These are not the poor helpless people that may be idealized by the proponents of PADS here in PR. It will be dangerous, the police will be needed. Yes, every night I have been in Oak Park PADS as their “doctor”..there are approx 20 people hanging out side who cannot get in because the limit has been reached. So, where do they go? No where.
Will they loiter past 6:30 AM? Yes. Where are they going to go?
Maybe Fr Carl should cook breakfast for them and bus them to the train!
Somehow, I don’t see this happening.
What do you call a church with no donations?

E.E. if the best and only response you have is to call someone who has an opinion that’s diferent than yours, names, perhaps it is you who is wrong and unwilling to see past the end of your nose. It is exactly that kind of narrow mindedness that has gotten our community in the sad state it is right now.

From what I have read on this site thus far in regards to pads W.D. had fallen on the anti-Pads side of the fence, but are now willing to offer an alternative for PADS to come in. Simply because I or anyone else may not jump senior center suggestion band-wagon, doesn’t mean that on some level we not on the same side of the bigger issue. And that is Do you think we have a homeless problem and is PADS the only solution?

If your anti-senior center hard-on has you blinded from the fact that the location there is still too close to TWO schools and our childern,
so be it. Perhaps other readers will at least give it a thought.

The proximity of the Senior Center to Lincoln Middle School cannot be ignored. Have you been around Lincoln when school lets out on a Spring Day? Whatever other concerns we might have regarding the unfortunate homeless, I ask you to consider: what have they ever done to deserve being exposed to 7th and 8th grade boys? I think they would find other places to be homeless rather quickly.

Young Physician:

If you are a Doctor then I defer to you medical expertise. With that in mind, you probably have access to a great deal more information then I do. Can you help me find some information? PADS has current existing locations that are in facilities with schools. Can you tell me how many cases have ever been documented where a child has contracted illness or virus from a homeless person that was at the facility. Please feel free to expand it beyond PADS if you like to shelters in general. I have searched in the limited ways that I have and have found none.

Still against PADS but just trying to sort through all the crap. Thanks in advance for your help!

I have never met anyone who runs this board face to face but I can tell by your writing and your responses to posters that you are intelligent people who think about the issues (at times differently then me). That is why I see an agenda in your latest suggestion?

I have been sitting here reading some of the old PADS posts from the Pre-SPC era. You know as well as I do that your latest suggestion has the exact same issues you and others were shouting from the roof tops about when St. Mary’s was to be the site.

1. Children in the area.

2. Importing the homeless from other communities.

3. Cleanliness and safty issues.

4. Use of city resourses.

5. Hanging around where kids are apt to be on their way to school.

6. Not really helping them (flop-house argument).

7. Background checks.

8. The neighbors near the senior center will object just like the neighbors near St. Mary’s.

9. I am not a lawyer but htere has to be issues with operating a aheleter on city property that would not exixt in a church environment. Comments Alderman/Lawyer Dave??

There is probably more that I have missed.

These are all objections with to a greater or lesser degree I agree with. So you were viamently against St. Mary’s, but now your suggestion to solve the problem has….ta da…..every issue you originally had with St. Mary’s. Beyond that, there is not one single mitigating factor that your new plan brings to the table except to throw it in the lap of the evil city leaders who we all are supposed to hate. Based on your logic you may as well be arguing to move it back to St. Mary’s.

So here is the game as I see it. We make a “sincere” suggestion hoping that we receive objections from our adversary so that we expose them for the hypocrites they really are (insert evil laughter here). Your own words say it best:

“If a PADS shelter in Park Ridge really is as good an idea as its supporters insist it is, we can’t imagine the triumvirate of Frimark, Barton and Owens failing to make this deal happen if they really put their minds to it”.

So based on all the objections to the St. Mary’s site that you either wrote about ar agreed with and that were discussed on your blog, what exactly is it about the Senior Center that now it makes it your suggested solution? Are you saying that now all these previous objections now have no merit? Are you saying that if this week PRMA and the gang said they were going to do what you have proposed you would support it?

Lastly, and conversely, I see the 12 point plan from Concerned St. Paul parent as a great piece of work and a sincere effort to find a solution. I saw it last weekend on a different board and, while as the author admitted it is not perfect, I think it has great merit and advantages over the current proposed solution in several areas. I hope that PRMA and all the stakeholders treat this suggestion with the consideration it deserves and that discussions take place. It is a serious proposal by a group of who have concern for their children/school and concern for the homeless. Unlike your proposal, it is not a game of throwing old ideas that you yourself objected to back in the face of the opposition.

anon on 07.19.08 6:43 pm,

We believe you may have missed our first response on the issues you raised. We have re-posted it here for your convenience.


From all that we have seen, heard and read about PADS (as opposed to HOPE, which appears to be a far more substantial program), we do not consider it an effective program for meaningfully addressing the issue of homelessness. Consequently, if Park Ridge is to provide temporary shelter to the homeless, we prefer a home-grown program such as what the Concerned Parent proposed.

Since it appears that the PRMA, several of our local politicians, and a number of our residents support the PADS program, however, we recognize the political reality that if the PADS supporters push for an ineffective PADS shelter over other alternatives and the PADS shelter can qualify for a special use permit, a PADS shelter somewhere may be what we get stuck with. Accordingly, we would prefer a PADS shelter at the Senior Center as a better alternative than one at St. Paul of the Cross.

But if we had our way, no PADS shelter would open in Park Ridge until the City placed the issue on the November ballot as an advisory referendum question, and the results of that referendum were analyzed and publicly debated by the City in a way that PADS and the PRMA successfully avoided until they announced it as a “done deal” at St. Mary’s at the beginning of this year. (In case you haven’t noticed, we hate deals that are “done” without plenty of advance notice and public input).

By PublicWatchdog on 07.14.08 12:31 pm

Thanks for the repost. You are correct – I completely missed this post. I agree with the essense of your comment in that the senior center is better then St. Pauls. However, I still think the senior center has virtually all the same issues you either brought up or agreed with when St. Mary’s was the selected location.

There are many issues that cause people to be against a PADS site and different issues are of different levels of importance to different people. With that in mind, please forgive me for over simplifying but it seems to me the argument path is something like this.

1. We can’t have it in a residential neighbrhood where kids are right near by and ride there bikes and walk to school…..etc….etc…

2. We can’t have it in a school.

3. Let’s move it to a residential neighbrhood where kids are right near by and ride there bikes and walk to school…..etc….etc…

There is nothing that has changed my mind on the validity of the objections to St. Mary’s as a site and they all hold true for the senior center.

In fact, one might make a case that in light of kids walking across the park to and from the two schools (possibly after evening activities), and with kids swimming or playing hoops at the rec-center or sledding, there might even be more traffic then at St. Mary’s.

So with St. Mary’s it was “let’s all unite against this” and now it’s “let’s all accept the political relaity”, with a solution that might well be worse then St. Mary’s was in the first place.

Evidence based articles- just a quick search:

As for evidence based medicine as has been asked.
MRSA: An Epidemic of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Soft Tissue Infections Among Medically Underserved Patients. Archives of Surgery. Volume 139(9), September 2004, p 947–953.
A good summary of %s.

Six- and Twelve-Month Outcomes among Homeless Youth Accessing Therapy and Case Management Services through an Urban Drop-in Center. Health Services Research. 43(1, Part I):211-229, February 2008. Natasha; Kang, Min Ju; Bonomi, Amy E.; Prestopnik, Jillian L.

Health Status, Health Care Use, Medication Use, and Medication Adherence Among Homeless and Housed People Living With HIV/AIDS. American Journal of Public Health. HEALTH CARE FOR VETERANS. 97(12):2238-2245, December 2007. Daniel P. PhD; Wolitski, Richard J. PhD; Campsmith, Michael L. DDS, MPH; Nakamura, Glenn V. PhD

Outbreaks of tuberculosis in facilities used by an unspecified number of people near a train station – problems regarding tuberculosis in urban areas. Kinoshita S et al.Kekkaku. 2007 Oct;82(10):749-57.

Arthropod-borne diseases in homeless.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Oct;1078:223-35.Brouqui, P.

To anon 1:52PM 7/19, if there are any further evidence based articles that you would like, please let me know. As I am on the night float shift, I will not be able to post them until late. If they are not downloadable or $$$, I will be able to get them for free. Let me know if you would like any specific articles/studies possibly done.
-Young physician

anon on 07.19.08 9:19 pm:

The Senior Center is better than St. Mary’s because there are no homes on the entire square block on which the Senior Center is located, except for the little red house that the Park District is reportedly in the process of buying. And the Senior Center is better than St. Paul because the former is not a school.

Nobody will be swimming at Centennial Pool during the October to April PADS “season.” But there is a possibility, if not a likelihood, that kids will be passing by the Senior Center on a PADS night.

But the real benefit of the Senior Center – or any other public building – is that it’s use will require public accountability and the kind of community-wide debate and consensus building that the PRMA has tried to avoid by claiming they they are on a mission from God.

The bottom line is that we don’t see PADS as a desirable option for our community. But we see the Senior Center as a much better option for a PADS shelter than St. Paul or any school; and as a slightly better option than St. Mary’s.


Thanks for your reply. Again, I am completely on board that is a better option then SPC. I guess we will just chalk the comparison to St Mary’s up to a difference of opinion. How on earth a 1 block “buffer” suddenly mitigates all the previously mentioned objections is beyond me. Also, there are all kinds of indoor activities at the rec center during the winter months. My daughter has taken swim classes although she is not of an age yet where we would allow her to walk there or home.

I would love to hear from the lawyers and hopefully Alderman Dave who qualifies in two ways as an Alderman/Lawyer. I do not believe there is anyway the city would be willing to house the facility at the senior center or any other public building. I believe the city attorney would advise against it. I believe there are liability issues that are very different with a shelter being housed in a “private” entiry verus a city building.

I believe you know this and this is your point. It is simplier to so many of the arguments I have seen used in this whold debate on our side and on the other side. If you do not support pads you are not christian. If you do support Pads you do not care aboyt your kids. If the city supports PADS then they should be willing to have it on city property.

I could be completely wrong about the above but either way, for the exact same reasons I did not think St. Mary’s was good location, I cannot support the senior center as a location. If I was comfortable with the senior center as a location then I could saved my self a whole lot of time and supported St. Mary’s

The Senior Center is Park District property, not City property.

It does seem a matter of personal opinion as to whether or not a 1 block buffer “mitigates” anything regarding the location of a homeless shelter.

However, I agree that a 1 block buffer does not eliminate the objections to a homeless shelter in Park Ridge.

I just don’t see the point moving in a homeless shelter and bringing in a bunch of people from other places as opposed to helping people where they live.

I just read at the PRU site where after oping 1 in Downers Grove the homeless population increased.

It’s like they wanna spread it around.

Frankly, if the concerned parent’s plan is taken up by Park Ridge, more power to you. I hope it works out. I can see some problems that have not been brought up yet on the blogosphere. I know it seems easy to name me and my co-workers as bogeymen; however, my overriding goal is to help homeless clients move into a permanent place to live. Overnight shelters are a necessary temporary solution while people make changes to stabilize.

Todd Stull
HOPE Center Director

Mr. Stull:

Your “endorsement” of the Concerned Parent’s plan is duly noted.

Even if we take at face value your claim that PADS/HOPE’s over-riding goal is to help the homeless get permanent places to live, we believe your PADS program is grossly ineffective at achieving the “temporary solution” it advertises – as your organization’s own “Results” statistics (from your website) appear to indicate:

“During the 2006-2007 season, Journeys from PADS to HOPE served over 670 guests through the HOPE Center (1140 E. Northwest Highway) and the 18 faith-based PADS sites throughout the Northwest Suburbs. The HOPE Center received over 6,193 visits from people requesting services, while the PADS sites provided 12,149 overnight stays and 36,447 meals throughout the season. Through the combined efforts of our volunteers and staff, we were successful in transitioning 39 clients out of homelessness and 309 clients in the past 6 PADS seasons out of an emotionally degrading life and into one of hope and independence, giving clients a much needed sense of belonging.”

Talk about vague, confusing and seemingly evasive rhetoric! Can we get some clear information on these purported “results”:

1. Did PADS alone transition 39 clients out of homelessness; did HOPE alone do it; or did all 39 of those clients go through both PADS and HOPE before transitioning out?

2. Were those “309 clients in the past 6 PADS seasons” only PADS clients, only HOPE clients, or both?

3. When PADS talks about giving people “a life of hope and independence,” does that mean that those people have moved from homelessness to home residency, or is this just some meaningless warm-and-fuzzy mumbo jumbo?

4. How many of those 309, if any, have returned to the PADS program?

5. How many of those 309, if any, remain in the HOPE program?

As we’ve said before, shuffling the homeless from one community to another makes no sense if you’re trying to give them a sense of place and belonging. But we are guessing that it keeps the public and private funds rolling in while keeping PADS expenses low, so it does have an economic benefit to PADS to HOPE, Inc.

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


(optional and not displayed)