03/29/2013 11:31 am ET

South Side Women's Shelters Face Closure Due to City Fines

ENGLEWOOD — The City of Chicago said Clara Kirk owes $41,969 for fines accumulated on three Englewood properties she owns.

The 72-year-old mother of five and grandmother of seven said if she is forced to pay the fines, she might have to close two shelters she founded 26 years ago in the same neighborhood.

Kirk, a longtime Englewood resident, is founder and executive director of the West Englewood United Organization, which runs Clara’s House, a transitional shelter where women stay up to 120 days, and Clara’s Place, a 13-unit apartment building for long-term occupants.

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