Chicago’s Heartland Alliance admits placing clients in slums

Buried in the middle of a lengthy article in the Chicago Journal is mention of the Heartland Alliance, a subcontractor of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, placing its clients (presumably including its refugee clients) in buildings that by all accounts are horrific slums.

For years, residents have blamed a raft of buildings for causing havoc in the Edgewater neighborhood.

Drug dealing and other criminal activity were a weekly, if not daily occurrence at the three buildings located at 4940, 5718 and 6019 N. Winthrop. Now, it appears as if there finally may be some resolution to a long-time neighborhood headache.

Taxpayer supported housing called an “outrage.”

Touted as offering affordable low-income housing, the six buildings received a combined $410,962 in subsidies according to a first quarter 2008 report from the city’s Low Income Housing Trust Fund, a program in which building owners can apply for rental subsidies to reduce rent for the poorest of the poor.

Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th Ward) called the Winthrop buildings an outrage. There is no reason, she said, that subsidized housing shouldn’t be extraordinary and accountable to the same laws for non-subsidized rental housing.

“This neighborhood has worked hard for 35 years to deal with bad buildings and bad landlords,” Smith said. “The people in these buildings cannot advocate for themselves, it’s an absolute outrage. I can’t imagine any of us who have a family member with challenges would want that person to be in a building with exposed wires and plumbing backups. Here, we have the public sector subsidizing bad buildings. We have to hold them accountable the same way we hold the private sector accountable.”

The building cases are winding through the court system.

According to inspection reports obtained from the Chicago Department of Buildings, city inspectors found 57 alleged code violations at 5718 N. Winthrop in 2008. The violations ranged from deteriorating exterior walls, a defective roof, damaged doors and windows, unsanitary plumbing fixtures, backed-up sewage in tubs and sinks, and exposed wiring and outlet boxes. The building was also cited for roaches and other insect infestations.

Forty-eight code violations were found at 6019 N. Winthrop and 11 at 4940 N. Winthrop in 2008. Both buildings are winding through the housing court system.

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights admits placing clients (poor immigrants or poor Americans, it doesn’t matter)  in these buildings that have been a blight on the neighborhood for decades.

Andrew Geer, vice president and executive director of the affordable and supportive housing initiative for Heartland Alliance, acknowledged that some tenants who have identified themselves as Heartland clients have signed leases at 5718 ad 6019 N. Winthrop.

“We have rental subsidies in buildings and resident may or may not be receiving services,” Geer said. “We do inspections twice a year. Our response is to work collectively and collaboratively with the city and whoever is providing the subsidy to address housing issues.”

Geer said that issues surrounding certain building owners who receive subsidies highlight the lack of quality affordable housing for low-income residents throughout the city, who might otherwise find themselves homeless.

Huh?   What a bunch of double-talk!   How does that answer the question of why Heartland Alliance came to put clients into buildings that were known slums.

Here is what Heartland Alliance says on their website. Yeh, right!

We build and advocate for safe, high-quality housing and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, or chronic illness.

Heartland Alliance has a past history of refugee neglect.

The Chicago Journal article doesn’t specifically say that Heartland Alliance has refugees in these buildings, just “clients,” but based on a report we did a year ago, here, the Heartland Alliance has a history of neglecting refugees and was accused in 2001 of putting refugees in dilapidated bug-infested apartments.   The State Department supposedly investigated and then did NOTHING!

Then here is more hypocrisy!

I thought Heartland Alliance sounded familiar from my research on Obama’s community organizing involvement and his time on the Woods Fund Board of Directors with former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.  So, I went to the most recent Woods Fund  Form 990 (2007)  (Ayers is still on the Board) to see if they were supporting Heartland Alliance.  Sure enough in a section of the 990 where grants are listed, in a section entitled, Intersection of Community Organizing and Public Policy (you gotta laugh) is a $40,000 grant to the Heartland Alliance.   So, is the money used for political “organizing” or for helping real people?

I guess the old expression, do as I say, not as I do, applies here.

Holder on Gitmo prisoner release: Let’s see do I tick off Europe or China?

I would call this being between a rock and a hard place.   Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters as noted by Fox News that some Guantanamo Bay prisoners might be resettled in the US.  Hat tip: Blulitespecial.

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder said some detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may end up being released in the U.S. as the Obama administration works with foreign allies to resettle some of the prisoners.

We have been negotiating with various European countries to take some of the prisoners off our hands, but wisely some of those countries have asked how many we plan to take first.

European justice ministers met with Holder earlier this week and pressed for details on how many Guantanamo prisoners the U.S. planned to release domestically, as part of any agreement for allies to accept detainees. Holder said U.S. officials would work to respond to the questions European officials have over U.S. Guantanamo plans.

There are a “variety of options?”  Sure and each one is going to get the Obama Administration into deep you-know-what.

For “people who can be released there are a variety of options that we have and among them is the possibility is that we would release them into this country,” Holder said. “That process is ongoing and we’ve not made any determinations or made any requests of anybody at this point.”

Besides angering citizens in whatever community in the US is chosen to be the resettlement site, releasing prisoners such as the 17 Uighers into the US is going to really fry the Chinese who do not want them released and are demanding their ISLAMIC terrorists be returned to China, here and here.

Among the detainees whose fate remains undetermined are 17 ethnic Uighurs, from the Central Asian region of China, who have been ordered released by a judge. The U.S. has refused to turn the men over to China, which considers them part of an separatist group.

By the way, a pattern is beginning to emerge, the Obama Administration, and in this case (we are all cowards) Holder, is going after Sheriff Joe Arpaio to keep their far left base happy and maybe take the attention off of huge issues like this one.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe:   tick off the Europeans or tick off the Chinese, let’s see.

New English Review schedules important meeting on Jihad

Scheduled for the last weekend in May in Nashville, TN, it looks like a must attend event for anyone seriously following the advance of Islamic supremacist activities around the world.  Entitled, “Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America” the line-up of speakers includes some of the most well-known international and US experts on the topic.

For more information, and how to register, go here.   RRW will be there.

Note to FBI: Osama Bin Laden is linked to Al-Shabaab

Last week at the hearing in the Senate Homeland Security Committee on recruitment activities (of American former Somali refugees) by Al-Shabaab in the US,  law enforcement officials played down the connection between Al-Qaida and State Department designated terrorist group Al-Shabaab.  In fact they attempted to lead us all to believe that Al-Shabaab’s militant activity was primarily in response to Ethiopian troop involvement in Somalia and now that the Ethiopians have left the country, Al-Shabaab would lose steam.

From the East African:

Andrew Liepman, deputy director for intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center, told senators: “”They are going to Somalia to fight for their homeland, not to join al Qaeda’s jihad against the United States, so far.”

So far!

Looks like with the release of a new audio tape, OBL thinks Somalia and saving his buddies in Al-Shabaab is pretty important.

CAIRO – Al-Qaida’s chief Osama bin Laden urged Somali militants to overthrow the country’s new president in a new Web audiotape posted Thursday, trying to torpedo a new push for peace in a lawless African nation where many fear al-Qaida is gaining a foothold.

The 11 1/2-minute audiotape aimed to rally Islamic militants at a time when the new president, moderate Islamist Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, is working to split their ranks and pull in some to support his government.

For years, Islamic militant groups — including ones linked to al-Qaida — have battled the feeble U.N.-backed central government, which controls only a small part of the capital, Mogadishu.

Ahmed, elected by parliament in January, is a moderate from the Islamist opposition and has succeeded in drawing several other groups out of the insurgency. The aim is to isolate hard-line militants, particularly the main group al-Shabab, which is believed to be allied to al-Qaida and which controls a large swath of the country.


Bin Laden’s message was entirely focused on Somalia, a sign of al-Qaida’s intense interest in the country….

Growing ties?

U.S. counterterrorism officials have warned of al-Qaida’s growing ties with the powerful al-Shabab group, which frequently battles government troops and militia allies and is blamed in attacks on African Union peacekeepers in the country. In Feb. 2008, the U.S. State Department added al-Shabab, which means “the Youth,” to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The gist of the testimony I heard last week at the Senate hearing was that there is no confirmed evidence of a linkage between Al-Qaida and Al-Shabaab.  If such a linkage would occur, we were told, then that would signify a greater problem for American law enforcement in assessing possible motives for recruiting American “youths” for  international Jihad.

I think they got some linkage here.

Related stories:

* Somalis are bullies from Strategy Page:

The showdown between the moderate Moslems, as represented by the Islamic Courts (who currently control the government, such as it is), and the Islamic radicals (al Shabaab) is basically about traditional Somali practices (the Islamic Courts) and the new ideas (al Qaeda and the effort to conquer the world for Islam). However, al Shabaab does represent one practice found often in Somali history; being a bully. Somalis are big on intimidation and getting their way. That’s the main reason why Somalia has had no government for the last 18 years. The Islamic Courts, now in control of the government, are imposing Sharia (Islamic) law throughout the country (or wherever they control the population). Al Shabaab also is imposing Sharia, but favors a much stricter form, which is less popular. But al Shabaab is also more ruthless, having been accused of murdering four more moderate clerics recently.

* American Chronicle says Al- Shabaab is on the run and losing in Somalia, sounds like wishful thinking to me.   But if true it would help explain why OBL released this cheerleading tape.  This news should make those Minnesota mothers pretty unhappy because it says Al-Shabaab is being hunted down.  Read it all here.

Now, many of the same observers say that the Alshabab have been rendered toothless, and their bloodshed is near an end.

* Our missing Somali youths may have been found!  On Facebook. From Fox News.  Hat tip Blulitespecial.

The FBI investigation is looking into two key questions: Where are the missing men now? And how were they radicalized and recruited inside the Unites States? Facebook could help find the answers.

One law enforcement official told Fox News the FBI is “aware that there were some missing [Somali] community members on Facebook,” but the official declined to discuss whether any “investigative activity has or hasn’t been carried out.” The official also declined to specify how many of the missing men were found to be on Facebook.

But are they dead or alive?