Meeting set on plan for homeless facility near Lake Zurich

An informational meeting is set for early January regarding a plan to move rental housing for chronically homeless people with mental illness from a North Chicago hospital complex to a residential neighborhood just outside Lake Zurich.

PADS Lake County, a homeless agency, and the Lake County Housing Authority will co-host the session about the Midlothian Manor proposal at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12, at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.

Representatives from PADS and the housing authority will explain the proposed use of the facility at Midlothian Road and Lakewood Lane in unincorporated Lake County. There also will be a question-and-answer period for Lake Zurich-area residents and others at the meeting.

PADS Executive Director Joel Williams said seating will be limited, but questions may be submitted in advance to

"Capacity of the meeting room is 120 people or so," Williams said after Friday's meeting announcement. "As far as anticipating concerns, I don't think we can anticipate anything at this point, which is why we set up that email address to be able to solicit information."

PADS' Safe Haven program would move from a building at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Center in North Chicago to the single-family residential neighborhood in Ela Township, on Lake Zurich's northern border. PADS has provided 13 rooms "of safety and consistency" for chronically homeless people with mental illness in North Chicago since 2005, according to documents the Daily Herald obtained through an open-records request made to the housing authority.

But with the end of a lease and the federal facility considered outdated and inappropriate for PADS' clients, the agency decided Midlothian Manor can provide a nicer setting for what would be an increase to 14 renters, Williams said. He said homeless agencies are trying to shift from institutional to residential settings.

Under the plan, the nonprofit homeless agency would lease the 14-unit Midlothian Manor building owned by the housing authority. The now-vacant building previously was operated by the authority as senior housing.

Lake Zurich Village Manager Jason Slowinski said Friday the town likely will have officials at the Jan. 12 meeting on the Midlothian Manor plan.

"We have heard from a number of concerned residents that want to know more about the proposal," Slowinski said. "We will make every effort to help make sure the community is aware of this upcoming meeting so that everyone can get their questions answered."

To reserve a seat for the meeting, call (847) 689-4357, extension 309, or email

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