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Homeless fund to keep old housed

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) will get to stay in his apartment on Callan Avenue thanks to a state homeless prevention grant program.

The Illinois Department of Human Services program is administered locally by Connections for the Homeless.

Reid’s landlord, Marty Max, of MLC Properties and Management in Rogers Park, posted signs in front of the building last month, saying Reid was more than $9,000 behind on his rent and faced eviction.

The grant to the council member, which covers up to six months of rent, was first reported earlier Thursday by the Evanston Roundtable.

Nia Tavoularis, development director for Connections, confirmed to Evanston Now that Reid had applied for help under the program, qualified for and received the assistance.

A conflict of interest provision in the city code creates the possibility that Reid might be expected to abstain from voting on the pending application of Connections for the Homeless for a special use permit to continue to operate a homeless shelter at the Margarita Inn.

But it’s not entirely clear from the provision’s wording whether receiving a government grant for which the recipient was otherwise qualified amounts to such a conflict.

Reid, who receives health insurance coverage and just under $16,000 a year for his part-time service as an alderperson, is also receiving full tuition payments as a full-time student at a community college and a cash stipend under a state program for persons who were formerly in the state’s foster care program.

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