Veterans food pantry gets reprieve from city

food

EP-131129934

By Ron Grossman

A volunteer-run food pantry for homeless veterans in the Washington Park neighborhood that was in danger of being closed because of numerous building violations got a reprieve Tuesday.

After being told about the repairs being done to the RTW Veterans Center in the 5500 block of Martin Luther King Drive, representatives of the Chicago Building Department and the corporation counsel’s office agreed to give the group until May 7 to bring the brownstone fully up to code.

In April, city inspectors cited RTW — for Remake The World — for a host of problems ranging from structural issues to an overgrown lot. Arnetha Gholston, RTW’s founder, has said she thinks someone wants the pantry out of the neighborhood, one of two potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum.

The University of Chicago, the library’s sponsor, has substantial real estate holdings in the community, as does the city. A university spokesman has said the school had no role in requesting the city inspection and also noted that RTW’s site was not included in the school’s proposal for the Obama library.

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