Friday, October 15, 2010


 Members of the Illinois Senior Internet Adoption Coalition representing 3,000 participants at 23 sites gather at the Elois McCoy Residence for the launch of a $6.8 million federal-state-private initiative to connect seniors and the handicapped to the Internet and teach them to utilize its power. (Photo by Brad)

The Illinois Senior Internet Adoption Coalition and Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-7) held a press conference at the Elois McCoy Village Apartments, a senior citizen residence at 4650 West Van Buren Street, owned by Habilitative Systems, Inc., to announce federal and state grants of $5.9 million to help senior citizens and people with disabilities gain access to the Internet. The money enables residents of nine Illinois public housing authorities, five private providers of affordable housing, and other partners to embark upon a program to teach low-income seniors and people with disabilities to use computers.
 The historic announcement of a dynamic program to connect seniors in subsidized housing to the Internet was made at the Elois McCoy Village Apartments on Chicago’s West Side. (Photo by Brad)

 Congressman Davis explained that seniors and the handicapped “need adequate, affordable access to the tools of the 21st century. This project represents a powerful way to close the digital divide by increasing computer training and high-speed Internet availability in our Illinois communities.”
 Donald Dew, Exec. Dir. of Habilitative Systems, Inc., declares that the broadband adoption project will help prevent seniors from becoming isolated and disconnected from family and the world around them. (Photo by Brad)

 The program funds new computer equipment, Internet access, and Connected Living training classes for more than 3,000 residents of low income housing in Northern Illinois. Connected Living by MyWay Village, Inc., is the grant recipient and is responsible for the implementation of the program at the 23 rural, suburban, and inner city sites in Illinois over the next 24 months. MyWay Village, Inc., is a comprehensive technology adoption program that combines simplified technology with engaging training content and curriculum delivered by ambassadors who are expert at getting first-time users online.
 Reneta Wilson, Executive Director of Sankofa Safe Child Initiative, tells how her agency successfully uses an intergenerational approach to teach seniors and children in its residence how to utilize computers. She notes that Chicago’s 7th Congressional District has more children living with people other than their parents than anywhere else in America. (Photo by Brad)

Low-income seniors and people with disabilities will gain computer skills, improved communication with family and friends, and better access to valuable information, education, and health services. Trainees who pass a basic computer proficiency test will receive a highly discounted computer and Internet service.
  West Side Chicago partners in the Coalition include:
 • Bethel New Life
 • Habilitative
    Systems, Inc.
 • Sankofa Safe Child
        More than $4.7 million in federal funding was awarded competitively through the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration. More than $1.2 million in Illinois Jobs Now! public works funding provides the financial support needed to secure the federal award for Illinois, and coalition partners are contributing an additional $900,000 in matching funds, bringing the total project value to $6.8 million.

Congressman Danny K. Davis says this is an exciting day because it provides senior citizens & people with disabilities “adequate, affordable access to the tools of the 21st century.” He was asked by HUD to serve as the spokesman on health for people living in subsidized housing. (Photo by Brad)


An architect’s rendering of the 60,000 square foot Lawndale Christian Medical Center being built in the 3700 block of Ogden Ave., a model of green technology & community empowerment.

    Bruce Miller of Lawndale Christian Medical Center, Apostle John T. Abercrombie of Kingdom Community Construction, 24th Ward Alderman Sharon Denise Dixon, and Rob Ferrino of Madison Construction agree on the need for the new Medical Center they are building, but also agree on the philosophy of who should be building it. (Photo by Brad)
We hear many excuses from unions, developers, contractors, and politicians for why it is impossible to hire local residents, especially African Americans, to work on major construction projects. Lawndale Christian Church and Medical Center, in partnership with Madison Construction, Kingdom Community Construction, and Alderman Sharon Denise Dixon, are sweeping away all of the excuses and proving that if your really want to change the culture and introduce fairness into the process, it can be done.
    Once again, Lawndale Christian is putting its money where its people are! It is constructing a brand new $16 million Medical Center from the ground up at 3756-58 West Ogden Avenue. They are not just building it for the people of North Lawndale, they are building it with them.
    This philosophy was determined at the outset by Lawndale Christian, General Contractor Rob Ferrino of Madison Construction, and Apostle John T. Abercrombie of Kingdom Community Construction, LLC. Rev. Abercrombie is Pastor of Truth & Deliverance Church at Laramie and Madison Street and his company is fresh from building the new PCC Clinic with local subcontractors and neighborhood residents at Lake Street & Lotus Avenue in Austin. Rob Ferrino is his neighbor. So, don’t tell them local talent can’t build a multi-million dollar project.
    The hole is just being excavated and already minority firms and local union laborers are involved. Ameri, the demolition contractor, is Black. Elaine King, the trucking company hauling away debris, is minority owned. Of the 25 subcontractors required for this project, five have been selected and four are Black owned.
    Bruce Miller of Lawndale Christian says, “This building is an economic engine.” It will employ 360 people to construct it. They will earn paychecks, pay mortgage notes, shop in the community, and become neighborhood stakeholders. Miller says the new Medical Center is needed because Lawndale Christian has outgrown its existing space.
    The new facility will not only make sick people well, it will help keep healthy people that way. The center will contain a state-of-the-art fitness center with an indoor track and a restaurant with healthy foods and juices. Miller notes that the existing fitness center is running at 100,000 visits annually. The new one will accommodate even more.
    The new Medical Center will add 300 permanent jobs for the community – more reason to call it an economic engine.
    The Medical Center qualifies for federal funding through the Davis-Bacon Act and it won $10 million in Stimulus funding through competitive bidding. The project received $150,000 in funding for green technology. It will have a geo-thermal heat pump with tubing running through the caissons to extract heat from the earth. Other energy-efficient technologies are being included in the structure, such as a solar powered hot water system. The 60,000 square foot building is slated for completion in December of 2011.
    Kingdom Community Construction has established a project office at 3820 West Ogden, where Apostle Abercrombie is personally interviewing job applicants. For an appointment, call 773/522-1945. He emphasizes that former offenders are welcome to apply. Abercrombie notes that when people are given responsibility, it gives them reasons to stay straight. Employment applications for the Medical Center project are also available at Alderman Sharon Denise Dixon’s office, 2100 South Marshall Boulevard, Suite 801. Interested persons may call 773/522-2430 for information.
    Lawndale Christian and its partners are proving that good community health doesn’t just come from having a medical center available, it starts with the building of the medical center!


The Gift House, Murphy Hill Gallery, THE GARFIELD-LAWNDALE VOICE Newspaper, Pathfinders Prevention Education Fund, Struggle Dezign Co., and Global City Unity are sponsoring the Chicago Westside Health Symposium of Communities of Color. All events are being held Sunday through Wednesday, November 28-December 1, in commemoration of World AIDS Day.
    Schedule of Programming includes:
 •    Sunday, Nov. 28, 3-7 PM – Stepping For Life & Dinner
 •    Monday, Nov. 29, 10 AM-2 PM – Health Interviews with Civic Leaders & Health Administrators for the HIV/AIDS Global Discussion
 •    Tuesday, Nov. 30, 3-6 PM –
    Youth EXPO
 •    Wednesday, Dec. 1, 6-9 PM – Where Do We Go From Here? Fashion Show & Entertainment
    All events are being held at Murphy Hill Gallery, 3333 West Arthington Street, 3rd Floor, and the public is invited to participate. For information, call 773/522-2420 or visit

West Side Scenes

An empty lot is all that exists at 3756-58 W. Ogden Ave., but soon a state-of-the-art $16 million Medical Center will rise, built by local residents to serve local residents. (Photo by Brad)

Apostle John T. Abercrombie greets prospects for employment on the Lawndale Christian Medical Center project. Pastor Abercrombie personally interviews all applicants and emphasizes that ex-offenders are welcome to apply. Call 773/522-1945 for an appointment. (Photo by Brad)


 Pastor & Mrs. Lester Minter celebrating 20 years of faith.

 The congregation of #2 Mt. Pleasant M.B. Church, 947 North Cicero Avenue, enjoyed two weeks of celebrating their Pastor’s 20 years of dedicated pastoral service. A banquet was held September 24, a Pre-Anniversary event was held October 3, with Rev. Woodard Williams as Guest Speaker, and the Anniversary Climax was celebrated on Sunday, October 10, with Pastor John Cooley as Guest Speaker.
 Congressman Danny K. Davis stops by to congratulate Rev. Lester Minter and the congregation of #2 Mt. Pleasant M.B. Church on the 20th Anniversary of the Pastor.
Pastor Minter thanks his flock for their support and good wishes.


The PEOPLE’S POLL asked VOICE Newspaper readers in our September 29 & October 6 editions to vote on whether drugs should be legalized. We gave you a choice of YES and NO for MARIJUANA, COCAINE, and HEROIN.
    66% of readers responding voted to legalize Marijuana, 100% of readers said NO to legalizing COCAINE, and 66% of responders voted to keep HEROIN illegal.

    To cast your vote, log onto and find THE PEOPLE’S POLL. Cast your vote and learn the results in next week’s editions of THE VOICE Newspapers.


Bobby Gause, 40, of the 4600 block of Monroe Street was arrested by Austin police officers executing a search warrant at his home. Gause possessed large amounts of illegal drugs, an automatic assault rifle with a loaded drum magazine, a loaded sub-machine gun, and various calibers of ammunition. He was charged with these offenses and as an Armed Habitual Offender, a Class X Felony.

Bobby Gause, 40, of the 4600 block of West Monroe Street was arrested and charged October 12 as an Armed Habitual Criminal. In addition to this Class X felony, Gause was also charged with one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance for Crack Cocaine, one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance for Heroin, one count of the Manufacturing/Delivery of 500-2,000 grams of Cannabis, and two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon.
    On the morning of October 12, at 10:33 AM, Bobby Gause, a man with numerous felony convictions, was the target of a search warrant. Austin (15th) District Patrol Officers, with the assistance of Austin District Tactical Units, executed the search warrant in the 4600 block of West Monroe, at Gause’s residence. During the search of the residence, police discovered Gause to be in possession of various narcotics, an Assault Rifle, and a Sub-machine gun, with an unspecified amount of ammunition.
    Seized during the execution of the search warrant were the following items:
    • 1,227 grams of Cannabis
    • 48 grams of Crack Cocaine
    • 19 grams of Heroin
    • An Automatic Rifle with a loaded Drum Magazine
    • A loaded Sub-machine Gun
    • Various ammunition of
        different calibers
    • $1,032 in cash
    Gause was taken into custody at the scene.

Austin District police officers executing a search warrant at a residence in the 4600 block of Monroe Street seized large amounts of illegal drugs, loaded automatic weapons, and ammunition. The resident was arrested and charged.


Westside Health Authority’s Breast Health Program is offering free Mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams to women 40 years of age and older who are uninsured or underinsured. Call Odette Alleyne at 773/786-0249. Call her also if you would like to host a Breast Health event at your church or in your home. All services are free.


Carpentry students at the Paul Simon Job Corps Center held a successful blood drive in honor of former instructor Glen Schwerdtmann, who is battling leukemia.

Pre-apprentice carpentry students of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners at the Paul Simon Chicago Center signed up students and staff for the quarterly American Red Cross Blood Drive. The carpentry students sponsored the blood drive in honor of Glen Schwerdtmann of the UBC, a former Job Corps instructor diagnosed with leukemia. The carpentry students encouraged their peers to give blood for this worthy cause. Over 100 people participated, donating 34 usable pints of blood. Paul Simon Job Corps


Rev. Jimmie Walker & volunteers distributing food and clothing to neighbors in need at Star of David Church, 5515 West Division Street, every Saturday morning, 9:00 AM-12 Noon. (Photo by Brad)

Pastor Jimmie Walker, his congregation, and community volunteers at Star of David Church, 5515 West Division Street, are working to ensure that their neighbors in need are being cared for. The nondenominational church distributes food on Saturday mornings from 9:00 AM to 12 Noon. They also give out gently used clothing when they have some.
    Star of David won the Hunger Fighter of the Year Award in 2006 from the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation.
    The church provides Sunday School from 10:30-11:15 AM and Sunday Worship Service 11:30 AM-2:00 PM. Wednesday Prayer Service is held 7:00-8:00 PM, and Wednesday Bible Study is 8:00-9:00 PM.
    For information on Star of David services and programs, call 773/638-2157. To contribute cash, food, or clothing, call 312/718-8497.


Roy Pope, the master automotive mechanic who owned Certified Alignment at Latrobe & Lake for 26 years, died September 20 of complications from a burst appendix. He was 62 years old.
    Roy was born January 3, 1948, to Charlotte and Clifton Pope in Rosedale, Mississippi. He was baptized in 1963 at St. Andrew’s Church in Rosedale. He came to Chicago as an adolescent and attended Farragut High School, where he studied automotive mechanics. He worked at Chicago Spring & Bumper for many years before opening his own shop.
    Roy had a dream of returning to Rosedale and opening a skating rink to improve the local economy and provide a recreational outlet for area children. Although he worked hard on this idea, he was unable to bring the project to fruition.
    “Roy made Certified Alignment one of the great success stories of THE AUSTIN VOICE,” recalls Isaac Jones, the newspaper’s Publisher. “When we came to him in 1986 to suggest he advertise Certified Alignment, Roy told us he wasn’t making any money and thought he would have to close the shop. He reached in his pocket and gave us his last $25, saying, ‘See what you can do with this.’ We started creating ads for Certified Alignment, Roy’s business increased, and he kept all of THE VOICE vehicles operating and on the road.”
    Lester Randle says, “ Roy was honest and dependable. He did quality work at a good price and stood behind his work. My brother and I both took all of our cars to him for work.” James Cole saluted Roy Pope as  “a good man.”
    As Roy’s business continued to improve, he added a service bay to Certified Alignment to handle more cars. He also took on corporate contracts to service the fleets of local businesses.
    Roy was preceded in death by siblings Louis Pope, Clifton Pope, Jr., Eddie Pope, Susie Ward, and Emma Barber. He leaves his children: Sheila Ann Scott (Minister Emory Clark) of Toledo, Ohio; Sandra Dean Thomas; Dorthine Martin (Lawrence); Emerson Roy Pope, Jr. (Shaana) of Pensacola, Florida; Clarence Edward Sutton (Shannon) of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Kimbly Monique Sutton. Brothers & sisters left to mourn are: Willie Pope of Greenville, Mississippi; Walter Pope (Bonnie); Robert Pope (Cornelia); Osie Pope of Rosedale, Illinois; Irene Bober; Ethel Wordlaw; Lula Edwards (Joseph); Freadia Williams (James) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Readia Pope (Curtis); and Oria Pope.     Roy also leaves two special nephews: Del Edwards & Eric Pope; a special niece, Minister Jewel Nolan; a special aunt, Emma Pope of Rosedale, Mississippi; and a special niece, Kathy Runnels, who worked with Roy for 26 years at Certified Alignment. Roy leaves 16 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a special friend – Mary Burns, more than 175 other relatives, and scores of friends and acquaintances who are enriched by having known him.
    Services were held September 25 at Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel. Roy was buried at Oakridge Cemetery in Hillside.