City Settlement Builds New Abused Women’s Shelter
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
In a twist of irony, a strip club sued by the City of Chicago that lasted almost 20 years has resulted in the settlement being used to build new housing for abused women and children. In Chicago’s suit against the VIP Gentlemen’s Club, the city had revoked its liquor license back in 1993 but its savvy, former owner, James Levin and Attorney David Epstein tied the case up for years with appeals.
Incidentally, James Levin pleaded guilty to defrauding Chicago Public Schools in a minority-owned business scam as reported by the Tribune, over four years ago. The project is a collaboration between the social service agencies Women in Need Growing Stronger, Greater Southwest Development Corporation and Metropolitan Family Services. The City of Chicago contributed the land at a value of $500,000 and $1.8 million from the settlement.
The project called WINGS, is in an undisclosed location and will have ten permanent housing suites which will house two families sharing a common bathroom. The ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday is just in time for Vanlentine’s Day and the first housing to be built in over a decade for abused women. If you are in need of help, contact the city’s domestic violence hotline at 877-863-6338.