World Outreach: Another Win, Battle Continues

In 2005, World Outreach Conference Center, a church passionate to help its community, bought the Roseland YMCA with the heart and vision to continue the community services the YMCA could no longer provide—single room housing for 168 men, swimming, youth exercise, education, social activities, and more for thousands of families and children on the South Side of Chicago.

Alderman Anthony Beale wanted the property sold to one of his buddies and sought vengeance against the church. When it ignored his wishes, he rezoned the property to manufacturing and with the help of the city attorneys and administration fought to prevent the new community center from opening.

In 2007 after extensive litigation, the city finally admitted the center and single room housing could proceed but not after it froze out hundreds of Hurricane Katrina victims from obtaining temporary shelter. The whole saga – which makes interesting reading of government corruption under Mayors Daley and Emmanuel – can be found at this link.

Our good news is that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has for the second time, ruled that the actions of Chicago were an abuse of government power. The latest ruling came on June 1, 2015.

After 10 years, we are looking forward to a jury trial in March, 2016, to recover damages for our client and attorney fees. If we can prevail, we know hundreds of churches and charities will be encouraged to serve the people of Chicago, even where the alderman says, “Not in my ward!” 

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