Neighbors despair as crime increases in the 46th Ward, particularly surrounding Hotel Chateau, at 3838 North Broadway.
The single room occupancy hotel offers residency to a varied clientele including those released from prison, mental health patients and others receiving social services.
The community is looking for solutions to the complaints of fighting, panhandling, drug dealing, public drunkenness and loitering that frequently occur around there.
“There have been a number of public safety issues that have been surfacing and caused the community quite a bit of concern,” said Ald. James Cappleman (46th) at a Town Hall meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.
Most recently, on Dec. 4, a woman was stabbed at the hotel in a domestic violence dispute.
Many neighbors and parents have concerns due to the hotel’s proximity to Gill Park, a place where children play. Park employees refused to comment without approval from their public relations administrator, Judy Molloy.
The ward has initiated an action plan to deal with the violence in the identified hot spots. Hotel Chateau is the first area where it will be implemented. Cappleman said many crimes are caused by gang violence, especially repeat offenders who are released from prison and attempt to re-establish their authority within the community,
Mental health patients who reside in the hotel further complicate the issue. While in prison, the state cancels their Medicaid. This prevents them from accessing needed medication when they are released, said Cappleman. Without medication, these patients pose a higher risk to themselves and others.
“We have people with chronic mental illness and we need to address their needs as well,” said Cappleman.In addition to the surrounding environment, the physical state of the hotel has also received complaints.
The hotel has had over 80 violations and many inhabitants complain of rat infestations, said ‘Mary Anne’, a local business owner who asked that her last name be omitted because she is often alone at the store and fears negative repercussions.
“It’s gotten worse over the past two years,” ‘Mary Anne’ said. She has seen an influx of new residents and increased transiency. In the summer, police or ambulances were there “at least three times a day.”
Another community meeting to discuss the Hotel Chateau awill take place in January.