Housing Center will prove its value

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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In 1972 the Oak Park Regional Housing Center was founded with the goal of making Oak Park a diverse and integrated community. Working in partnership with village government, Oak Park has become a national model for sustainable integrated communities.

In the past 16 months, the OPRHC has seen its former executive director leave, and has had two interim executive directors appointed. Being the first to admit it, OPRHC has been slow to upgrade its technology, but this is something soon to change. As we began to formalize a strategic plan this year, we will remain in the role of promoting and sustaining Oak Park as an integrated community.

We would like to thank each and every person who has supported OPRHC, who continues to support OPRHC, and particularly the village of Oak Park mayor, trustees, and staff. Though the past couple of months have been filled with uncertainty, we pushed forward with the help of everyone.

OPRHC will continue to work closely with property owners, the village of Oak Park, and the community in an effort to sustain integration, which positively affects social cohesion and civic life, and the Housing Center will remain relevant. Thousands of people move into Oak Park annually, and each move can result inv either integration or segregation. OPRHC is critical to ensuring positive outcomes from these moves.

As we continue our work, we must begin with new fundraising strategies, beginning this Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as we will be doing a live fundraising telethon on the Doris Davenport Show, at the Oak Park Township Resource Center, 130 S. Oak Park Ave. Please join us for light refreshments and conversations.  

Athena Williams 

Executive director Oak Park
Regional Housing Center

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Reader Comments

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Mikhail Ivanov  

Posted: December 18th, 2019 3:39 PM

Classic. Once they got their funding, their commitments went out the window. I look forward to their demise in the near future based on their own incompetence and arrogance (although they will blame racism and white power structures, an accusation at which we should all laugh)

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park 2.0  

Posted: December 18th, 2019 1:46 PM

In case I didn't make my point clearly in the previous post, my question is this. why hasn't the OPRHC's 2018 annual report been finished and made available by now. They are flipping us all off with impunity. So much for transparency huh?

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park 2.0  

Posted: December 18th, 2019 1:43 PM

Where's the 2018 IRS Form 990 (the tax report not for profits file each year. The extension that was automatically granted on a one time ONLY basis expired November 15, 2019. What's so complicated about filing a not for profit's tax report that it takes soooooooooo long to produce it? Is this a foretelling of the OPRHC's ability to produce ON TIME the REQUIRED reports stipulated in their services contract with the Village of Oak Park? Wait. wait, waitttttttt maybe we have to hold on until they hire their new full time accountant. Good luck with that.

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park  

Posted: December 13th, 2019 2:10 PM

Unfortunately I've already been accused of being a racist given my relentless criticism of a female POC. The reality is that I couldn't be less racist if I tried although I do harbor prejudices against individuals it's never because of such things as: race, religion, ethnicity, education, disabilities, weight, or lack thereof, clothing choices, sexual preferences, or financial status. Politics and general cussedness/assholiness are another story altogether.Once upon a time, I chose to start my own business to limit the power other people had over me and my time and that remains one of the best decisions I ever made exceeded only by asking my wife to marry me.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 12th, 2019 10:25 PM

Corey Gimbel I have come across people in positions that have the same personality as others in other positions and they are get along fine because they have one goal and that is to stay in the position until retirement time. I am not writing that Athena is a person just seating in a chair waiting to be pensioned off and I do not even know if the position has a pension plan. What I have found is that there are people in positions who do not want to be questioned and they are separated from the people they serve either in a public or private position by others who have the job of blocking people from getting answers. Some people go along and do things honestly and do alright and others have to do what they do because once they get theirs they want to keep it. I have no idea who Athena is although she has a limited time if the public is really interested

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park  

Posted: December 12th, 2019 8:10 PM

@ Tommy - In this case I happen to have been a witness to much that goes on behind the scenes at out "venerable if vestigial" Oak Park Regional Housing Center. So the questions I'd like answers to are the equivalent of a SpecOps sniper taking aim for that "one shot - one kill" act of retribution on a terrorist. Athena won't answer my questions because, welllll she doesn't HAVE to acknowledge me, in any way shape or form. She knows in her heart of hearts that I see who and, more importantly, what she is. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain is a meme that comes to mind. I'm not saying she's a bad person, far from it. I'm merely saying that she, personally, is going to be the ultimate reason the Oak Park Regional Housing Center fails due to her hubris and lack of anything resembling true management skills. She will blame all future failures on other people. C'mon Athena CHANGE MY MIND.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 11th, 2019 9:42 PM

Corey Gimbel This is the good tough questioning that should be asked of every board member of all the board's in Oak Park. It will get down to where the real waste could be and maybe even to who is responsible and to clean house if the house turns out to be in a mess and a waste of the tax payers paying salaries for people who are not keeping their home in order for the tax payer's. If you have any other board leader's go a head and mention them

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park  

Posted: December 11th, 2019 7:33 PM

The Executrix Herself, Athena, Williams, self-styled SJW wonder worker says proudly, "Thousands of people move into Oak Park annually, and each move can result inv (sic) either integration or segregation. OPRHC is critical to ensuring positive outcomes from these moves. My personal questions for Herself are these. 1) How many of those "thousands" of moves were catalyzed in ANY way, shape or form with OPRHC's participation? 2) How many of those moves were "affirmative" moves? 3) Would you define "affirmative" in a way that someone, not an urban planner or sociologist, can understand it? 4) If the OPRHC participated in 3-400 of those "thousands" of moves how much did each move the OPRHC helped with cost the taxpayers of Oak Park? 5) When can we expect to see the new 2020 OPRHC strategic plan and how much will this one cost us (the last cut cost us $30,000, hopefully the mulligan is on the consultants who wrote that last piece of 3rd grade level crap and they'll do better the second time around)? 5) Do you think the "pro bono" consultant (my wife Louise Mezzatesta, that you've used as a convenient punching bag will help you out when you run into a problem with the reports you are now responsible for filing on time going forward? 6) How's the search going for your new 1) staff fundraiser and 2) the accountant you claim to need so badly? I haven't seen any ads myself. I dare you to respond to these questions TRUTHFULLY in print. You've got Derrick the Communicator get him on this, I'm sure he's up to the task of answering someone as ill-informed as I am. Ohhhh wait I almost forgot, where's the 2018 IRS Form 990 that was due November 15th without fail? Just another late report for you no big deal. Right?

Tom MacMillan from OAK PARK  

Posted: December 10th, 2019 2:20 PM

Oak Park taxpayers have been forced to support the OPRHC with over $8 million dollars since 2008. What value have we gotten for our $8 million? What other good works could instead have been done? The vague descriptions of "efforts" and "outcomes" from the Housing Center have worn really thin. "Our work" seems to be little more than constantly getting more funds. A "national model" that no other communities are imitating, after 47 years, is an example of something that is not working.

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