The Crusader – Advocates want to make sure children living in extreme poverty receive their child support payments

By  Crusader Staff, November 23, 2022

$100 bills are scattered in the background and in plastic toy letters atop them it reads "Child Support" at the top of the frame is a wooden gavel.

A new, animated video released last week by anti-poverty advocates starts with “You would think that child support goes toward supporting children, right? But families in Illinois who need the most help are getting just a fraction of child support payments.”

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Continue reading The Crusader – Advocates want to make sure children living in extreme poverty receive their child support payments

WVON-TANF & Anti-Poverty Experts

November 22, 2022

You would think the child support goes toward supporting children, right? But families in Illinois who need the most help are getting just a fraction of child support payments. And really when you look at the numbers, they’re saying families who live in extreme poverty, who received 10% of which is temporary assistance for needy families, have child support collected from there non custodial parents only to have most of that money go to the state of Illinois. 

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Chicago Sun Times-West Loop homeless on edge as city threatens to discard donated tents

By Michael Loria, November 3, 2022

A man in a black jacket and hat stands beside a large orange square tent, behind him 2 more of the same type are in the distance, they all sit below a bridge.

Willie Parker woke up braced for action Thursday morning.

The 66-year-old lives in a tent in the West Loop. The week before, he found a sticker attached to it that seemed to indicate that if it wasn’t cleared that morning, it would be removed by the city.

“We’re waiting for the city to come with a wrecking crew and come and confiscate the tents,” Parker said.

 

Continue reading Chicago Sun Times-West Loop homeless on edge as city threatens to discard donated tents

Chicago Sun Times-Humboldt Park family’s home transformed: ‘I feel happy’

By Michael Loria, October 7, 2022

Three kids stand in a bedroom beside a brown dresser and a blue bed with a basketball on it. A mother stands in the doorway, her hand to her face bearing a huge smile.

Chicago nonprofit Humble Design fully furnished and customized the four-bedroom house within hours. 

The house Lana Purnell and her three children left Friday morning wasn’t the same when they retuned in the early afternoon.

Continue reading Chicago Sun Times-Humboldt Park family’s home transformed: ‘I feel happy’

WTTW – New Report Offers Look into Homelessness in Chicago

October 5, 2022

A recent report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless found that at least 65,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the city in 2020, which includes those who temporarily stayed with others in addition to people living in shelters and on the street.

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Over 65,000 people in Chicago experienced homelessness in 2020

By  LISA DENT September 20, 2022

Chicago Tribune reporter Maddie Ellis joins Lisa Dent on Chicago’s Afternoon News to explain a report released by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless which found that over 65,000 people experienced homelessness in 2020.

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Chicago Tribune – An estimated 65,611 people in Chicago experienced homelessness in 2020, coalition report says

By  Maddie Ellis September 20, 2022

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development identified 5,390 people experiencing homelessness in Chicago.

But in a new report released Tuesday, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless put forth a different count: 65,611.

Continue reading Chicago Tribune – An estimated 65,611 people in Chicago experienced homelessness in 2020, coalition report says

The Washington Post – America’s first homelessness problem: Knowing who is actually homeless

By  Kyle Swenson August 24, 2022

SEATTLE — Handwritten notes were everywhere, taped into car windows or tucked under windshield wipers or scrawled across van doors. They were public announcements and cryptic rants — tiny splashes of individuality amid the anonymity of garbage piles and ripped tarps surrounding the trailers and campers parked near the railroad tracks south of downtown.

Continue reading The Washington Post – America’s first homelessness problem: Knowing who is actually homeless

Chicago Latina Files Lawsuit Challenging False Arrest By Chicago Police

CHICAGO – A Chicago police officer’s obscene verbal tirade escalated into the officer’s physical assault and false arrest of a Chicago woman in June 2020, according to a federal lawsuit filed today. Chicago police are accused of unlawfully arresting Julie Campos, a Southside Latina resident—who was 19 years old at the time—at her place of employment, a Family Dollar store located on East 79th Street. The ACLU of Illinois (“ACLU”), the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (“CCH”), and the law firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP are representing Ms. Campos in the lawsuit challenging false arrest. 
 
Ms. Campos was working at the store on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, cleaning up property damage that had occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The lawsuit asserts that, after Ms. Campos videoed the officer who physically assaulted her, Ms. Campos was falsely arrested on a trumped-up charge and unlawfully detained for hours—separated from her infant son. 

White text in all caps on a blue gradient background reads "Julie Campos v. City Of Chicago, Eric Taylor, and Treacher Howard" Center below text is the CCH Logo, a cartoon person crouched in a white house, to the right of logo reads " Law Project, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless". Lawsuit Challenges False Arrest.

“I was confused and scared throughout this entire experience,” said Ms. Campos. “It was shocking that just getting up and going to work could result in being arrested.” 

“The body cam and other video of this incident show a CPD officer completely out of control. The City never should have allowed this officer onto the street,” said Joshua Levin, staff attorney for the ACLU. The officer has a lengthy history of civilian complaints, but never had been adequately disciplined or retrained by the Chicago Police Department. 

Arturo Hernandez, a senior attorney at CCH, stated, “Ms. Campos, a young mother who was experiencing housing instability at the time, was at work trying to provide for her family when she endured this horrific experience at the hands of Chicago Police officers. This should not happen to anyone. If CPD doesn’t take action to adequately train their officers, or adequately discipline officers who engage in misconduct like the officers in this case—how will relations between the community and the police change?” 

The officers’ body camera video shows CPD Officers Eric Taylor and Treacher Howard pulled into the store parking lot where employees were busy cleaning up so that the business could reopen to serve the community. Ms. Campos was making repeated trips in and out of the back entrance to throw out trash from the damaged store. 

Content Warning: the following may be uncomfortable for some viewers. Jump to 10:30 for interaction.

While in the store parking lot, Officer Taylor instigated a shouting match with one of Ms. Campos’ coworkers. Officer Taylor made vulgar sexual comments about the employee’s mother and oral sex, using racist epithets. 

“Officer Taylor’s dehumanizing language—and his completely unnecessary escalation of conflict with this community member—is maddening to watch,” Levin added. “These Chicagoans were at work just doing their jobs.” 

After Officer Taylor’s argument with the employee, Ms. Campos continued cleaning the store. As she was carrying boxes through the store doorway to the dumpster, Ms. Campos came face-to-face with Officer Taylor, who was charging inside. Unbeknownst to Ms. Campos, Officer Taylor was looking to arrest Ms. Campos’ coworker, with whom he had instigated the earlier argument. Frightened by the officer coming toward her, Ms. Campos momentarily froze. Officer Taylor said “step back, step back,” then grabbed Ms. Campos, forcibly shoved her, and struck her face. As Ms. Campos fell backward, Officer Taylor, his partner Officer Howard, and other CPD officers entered the store. No one checked to see if Ms. Campos had been injured.  

As Officer Taylor stomped through the store, Ms. Campos pulled out her phone and began recording him and saying that he had punched her. Although Ms. Campos had a First Amendment right to record Officer Taylor and criticize his misconduct, Officer Taylor approached her, twisted her arms—forcing her to stop recording—and placed her under arrest for purportedly obstructing a police officer. 

“There was no legal basis whatsoever to arrest Ms. Campos for ‘obstructing an officer’; this was a blatant violation of Ms. Campos’s constitutional rights,” the ACLU’s Levin explained.    

Ms. Campos was taken to a CPD station, where she was detained and physically restrained for nearly five hours. While holding Ms. Campos in custody, Officers Taylor and Howard refused to tell her when she would be released and when she would be able to see her one-year-old son again. Defendant Taylor even taunted Ms. Campos about her inability to contact her child or her child’s daycare while in custody. 

Months later, the false charge against Ms. Campos was dropped.  

“My hope is that this lawsuit will help make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Ms. Campos. “I’m concerned that something like this could happen to me again. But I’m more afraid for when my Latino son grows up. I’m afraid for what could happen to him if we continue to have police officers like Officer Taylor patrolling this city.” 

“Not only was Ms. Campos arrested and detained when she did not do anything wrong, but the officers lied on the police reports. They fabricated information to cover up the false arrest—a widespread practice CPD officers use to conceal misconduct,” said Levin. 

“This sort of behavior by CPD officers is the antithesis of public safety and constitutional policing,” Levin added. “And the City is directly responsible because it fails to adequately train, supervise, and discipline officers like Taylor who have egregious records of misconduct.” Officer Taylor has racked up more civilian complaints than 93% of other officers. Levin explained: “This case exemplifies the City’s systemic failure to take abusive officers off the streets.” 

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If you or someone you know is in a transitory living situation and needs legal support the Law Project can be reached weekdays on its toll-free helpline:  1 (800) 940-1119.

Related Media Coverage:

Video of Police Cam footage: https://youtu.be/rCNyyBjFeoI

Tribune

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-aclu-lawsuit-chicago-police-arrest-20220526-ywksug2l75gwxg34eulugt2uoe-story.html   

Sun Times 

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2022/5/26/23143373/federal-suit-alleges-cpd-officer-struck-falsely-arrested-woman-recording-misconduct-2020

Univision Chicago

https://www.univision.com/local/chicago-wgbo/hispana-presenta-demanda-contra-policia-de-chicago-por-falso-arresto-y-agresion

As CPS identification of homeless students drops, CCH offers recommendations

By Alyssa Phillips, Education Attorney

The number of students identified as homeless in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) declined 34% since the 2018-19 school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and school districts nationwide faced unprecedented challenges. School districts, including CPS, implemented remote, hybrid, and in-person learning models as COVID-19 cases and deaths ravaged communities, hitting communities of color especially hard. In CPS, it was particularly challenging for schools to identify and serve students experiencing homelessness.  

Continue reading As CPS identification of homeless students drops, CCH offers recommendations