Columnist Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times has an interesting column out concerning the actions of a certain liberal, North Side Chicago Alderman. He basically has ordered the Salvation Army to stop feeding the hungry using one of their portable food trucks in his ward. According to the Salvation Army, they initially agreed to move elsewhere, then later changed their mind. The food truck draws many desperate people who need additional assistance including housing and is an important part of their ministry. This same Alderman claims that Salvation Army officials stormed out of his office. If true, then good for the Salvation Army.
On a personal note, the Salvation Army appeared at our house in Skokie when it and two neighboring homes were burned to the ground by a teenaged arsonist at night in the fall of 1967. While standing in front of our home shivering while wearing a robe, slippers, underwear and a T-shirt, suddenly a warm coat was draped around me by a good samaritan. I looked up and saw that Salvation Army hat. We were also given several bags of items, such as soap, combs, toothbrushes and tooth paste, sweat pants and shirt. A plastic bag contained donuts and cartons of milk. They asked for nothing in return. They offered to make arrangements at a local hotel for us, but we stayed a few days with an aunt who lived four blocks away. My new wardrobe came from a K-Mart like "Shoppers World" which a few schoolmates were quick to ridicule. Since our home was uninhabitable for over a year, school officials wanted me transferred elsewhere when our family rented a temporary apartment outside of our district, while our home was being rebuilt. I have regularly and gratefully contributed to the Salvation Army since that time.
As a young boy, I learned first hand how some private charities operate as compared to government when disaster strikes a family.
This same Alderman also recently introduced a bill to abolish "cubital hotels" such as the Wilson Men's Hotel, which exists in his ward. Such hotels serve poor single elderly gentlemen who usually have no families and subsist on social security retirement or disability checks. For roughly $300.00 a month, they have a small room to sleep in and store a few valuables.
Now, imagine the angry uproar if a Republican heartlessly demanded removal of the Salvation Army from his District, or forced elderly poor gentlemen to become homeless. It would be deafening.
So maybe it is time to ask Alderman James Cappleman (D-46th Ward), who claims to be a "licensed clinical social worker," a few harsh questions. What does he have against poor and hungry people who reside in his ward or who pass through it each day? Why pick on the Salvation Army and what sounds like a laudable program?
John Ruberry, who blogs as Marathon Pundit (www.marathonpundit.blogspot.com) on many issues, include Chicago, also has a great take on these developments.
The Salvation Army has a nice facility in Waukegan and another in Zion which is frequented by those looking for clothing and furniture bargains and for those in need. Please donate freely to them. They do a great job helping others. I know from my childhood first hand experience.
Pick on the Salvation Army? Pick on someone else alderman!