Meeting on Midlothian Manor homeless plan set for Monday at Lake Zurich library

Agency would relocate 14 people from North Chicago to apartments near Lake Zurich

  • PADS Lake County wants to place 14 chronically homeless people with mental illness in Midlothian Manor just outside Lake Zurich. A public meeting on the idea will be held Monday.

      PADS Lake County wants to place 14 chronically homeless people with mental illness in Midlothian Manor just outside Lake Zurich. A public meeting on the idea will be held Monday. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted1/10/2015 7:30 AM

An informational meeting will be held Monday 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.

The session will begin at 6 p.m. at Ela Area Public Library, 275 Mohawk Trail in Lake Zurich. Representatives from PADS Lake County, a homeless agency, and the Lake County Housing Authority will make presentations and answer questions about the proposed use of Midlothian Manor at Midlothian Road and Lakewood Lane.

 

Because the library meeting room has a capacity of about 120, PADS recommends those who want to attend to call (847) 689-4357, ext. 309, or email midlothianmanor@padslakecounty.org.

"We are trying to accommodate everyone who wants to attend," PADS Executive Director Joel Williams said Friday. "Openings are still available, and we encourage RSVPs just so we can properly prepare. But no one would be turned away if they did not RSVP."

Under the plan, the nonprofit homeless agency would lease the 14-unit structure owned by the housing authority in unincorporated Lake County. Now vacant, Midlothian Manor previously was operated by the authority as senior housing.

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.

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But with the end of a lease and the federal facility considered outdated and inappropriate for PADS' clients, the agency decided Midlothian Manor can provide a nicer setting for what would be an increase to 14 renters.

"The program utilizes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's preferred approach of 'Housing First/Harm Reduction,'" say the PADS documents submitted with the housing authority.

"This approach allows individuals to enter the program with limited barriers, such as without treatment requirement or compliance. Due to the low demands of the program, it is hoped that after a period of stabilization, participants would be more willing to participate in services and eventually transfer to their own housing, likely with some other form of subsidy."

Midlothian Manor clients would rent their units from PADS by paying a portion of their income, from government assistance or a job. Resident services would include lessons on money management, using public transit and understanding a mental health diagnosis.

While the property is under Lake County Board jurisdiction, no public hearings or approval from elected officials are necessary for the Midlothian Manor proposal to proceed.

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