Homeless twins no longer homeless
Donor pays for temporary housing for 1 twin; brother remains hospitalized
By Kristen Schorsch, Tribune reporter
December 31, 2010
A 34-year-old businessman moved by a Tribune story about homeless twin brothers is paying for a week's hotel stay for one brother while the other remains hospitalized.
The west suburban businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was looking for an opportunity to help and do something more than put a check in the mail.
"A lot of people talk the talk, including myself," he said. "But walking the walk is another story."
On Thursday night, he met Frank Nowotnik at the Summit Motel, in Chicago's Lincoln Square community, and paid for Nowotnik to stay there until Jan. 7, when a spot at the Lakeview YMCA is scheduled to open for him and his brother, Anthony.
Anthony and Frank, 42, have been sleeping underneath a bridge at California Avenue and the Kennedy Expressway. Anthony was offered housing last month at the YMCA, but he refused to move without Frank, who can't get in until Jan. 7.
Anthony said city workers and police officers on Monday arrived with a garbage truck and tried to move them from the sidewalk. When he tried to stand, Anthony said, he struggled to breathe and he spit up blood. He has been hospitalized ever since with a blood clot in his lung at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital Center in Ukrainian Village.
City officials couldn't confirm whether workers had tried to move the brothers.
After the alleged incident, social workers couldn't find Frank. His sister Carmella Nowotnik and her husband, Raul Chacon, found him Wednesday, sleeping under a blanket around California and Diversey avenues, and put him up at the Diplomat Motel, also in Lincoln Square, for the night.
They picked up Frank on Thursday, dined at McDonald's and bought him pants, socks and a shirt from the Salvation Army.
Chacon said money is tight for his family, which includes four children, and he's grateful for the businessman's generosity.
"What kind of person reaches in their own pocket?" Chacon said. "It's amazing."
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