On a sunny October day, Joe Angelastri and Marlena Ascher visited a man who was sitting in a sunny spot on Cicero Avenue and appeared to be homeless. They introduced themselves and engaged him in conversation which was surprisingly delightful.
His name is Jeff. He prefers to be called “Magic” because that is what he does. Jeff has been perfecting his magic effects ever since he was a little boy. He has performed in many professional venues, but most loved performing on cruise ships which was magical in its own way. Having said that, Jeff pulled out a deck of cards and borrowed Marlena’s pen to demonstrate his skills. He is the real deal --- a talented, engaging performer!
Jeff is also an Army veteran, who had been stationed in both California and Korea. He speaks lovingly of Korea, praising its beauty and the gentleness of its people. Jeff became homeless when he left his apartment in a veterans residence in the town of Quincy, IL. to attend his daughter’s out-of-state funeral. When he returned home, he was shocked to find that COVID-19 prevented his re-admittance. He has been homeless ever since. He chose to return to Six Corners because he and his mother lived here for years a long time ago. He remembers those years fondly. Jeff’s life changed on that sunny October day. With the help of a lot of caring people, Joe and Marlena as well as Amie Zanders, State Representative Lindsey LaPointe, social worker Laquila Sawyer at Heartland Alliance, and Alderman Gardiner’s chief of staff; Jeff was checked into temporary shelter where he could shower, sleep, and stock its small refrigerator with simple, healthy foods. He was admitted to a permanent home at Heartland
SCCC Interim Executive Director