Summer camp gets financial boost
A summer camp program held at the Forest Park Park District received a windfall from area businesses that raised money for the cause. The West Suburban Special Recreation Association runs the six-week program at nine campsites in Oak Park, Berwyn and Forest Park for children with various disabilities.
“Children with learning disabilities, attention deficit and hearing impairments are our fastest-growing camps,” WSSRA Executive Director Sandra Gbur said in a written statement. “Teens with developmental disabilities, such as autism, also are a growing population for our agency.”
Jimmy’s Place on Madison Street raised more than $1,400 for the program over a four-week period and was the leading donor. Customers were asked to donate a dollar toward the camp and in return would have their name posted in the restaurant. A total of 17 area businesses participated in the fundraiser.
The various camps were attended by 178 children this year.
Register to vote
Citizens United in Forest Park, a local government watchdog group, is conducting a voter registration drive next week. The event is being held in conjunction with student registration at School District 91.
Village residents are invited to the Field Stevenson School at 925 Beloit Ave. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 and Wednesday, Aug. 8 to either register or update their registration information. The event will be held on both days from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Residents must be 18 to register to vote. For additional information, contact CUinFP at (708) 771-2478.
Housing facility draws advocates’ ire
Members of a local advocacy group for the disabled are asking state officials not to reopen a new housing facility, and instead, focus on providing more community and home-based services.
The Progress Center for Independent Living, 7521 Madison St., issued a statement railing against a proposal from the Illinois Department of Human Services to open Lincoln Estates, a 40-bed housing facility that will cater to disabled residents. Such institutions only further segregate disabled residents from the rest of society, according to a Progress Center statement.
Larry Biondi, an advocacy coordinator for the Progress Center, said the national trend is to provide assistance for the disabled within their community, not to institutionalize them.
“Illinois is ranked 48th in the nation as far as providing home and community-based services versus institutional care,” Biondi said in a written statement. “The current system in Illinois is not equal.
Lincoln Estates won an approval from the Health Facilities Planning Board on July 24 to open its doors. Several representatives from the Progress Center attended the hearing, urging board members to vote the project down. The four housing units with 10 beds each will be located at the former site of the Lincoln Developmental Center in downstate Lincoln.