The Jan. 9 edition of Wednesday Journal printed a viewpoint on supportive housing from the organization, United Power for Action and Justice. This commentary described a tour of the supportive housing facility in the South Loop.
As a representative of Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, I also took part in the tour of this facility. What United Power described is what I saw: security for residents and guests, a well-maintained professionally managed building with support services available to all the residents.
Each resident has their own space that includes a kitchen, sleeping area and bathroom. The area is small but it offers a safe private haven. I believe having your own space is not a privilege but a basic right that should be available to everyone.
The location of supportive housing is something that should be carefully considered. It must be within walking distance of public transportation, retail shopping and community services. The South Loop Apartments meet this criteria and so does the Oak Park YMCA site. I live in the 200 block of North Oak Park Avenue, and I would welcome supportive housing as a neighbor, but like much of Oak Park there are no open parcels to develop.
Oak Park prides itself on its diversity. Shouldn’t that include economic as well as ethnic and cultural diversity? Samuel Johnson once said, “A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.” Is Oak Park able to meet this test?