Veterans Charity to be Displaced for Obama Library?

The group serves 3,000 meals a month.

A veterans charity in Chicago suspects it is being pushed out of its location "to make way for the restaurants, shops and other commercial venues that would complement the proposed Obama presidential library and museum."

The RTW Veterans Center is located near one of the proposed sites for the library on a privately owned piece of land. City building inspectors recently found 32 building code violations at the facility. 

“We don’t appreciate being muscled out and put in the situation of having to negotiate from a position of despair,” facility center Director Jah Ranu Menab told Menab suspects the University of Chicago, which is working to bring the library to the South Side location is part of the effort to push the building into receivership. He also admits the building is in poor condition and needs work to fix the problems.

Currently, the group is amassing $16,000 in fines per day, and Menad says it looks like a "land grab" by the influential University of Chicago.

The University denies the accusations and released a statement saying, “The mission of providing support for veterans is extremely important, and numerous University of Chicago community members have volunteered their time at the RTW Veterans Center. The university is not engaged in discussions regarding the center's property and has no plans to purchase it."

The facility is a not-for-profit organization and does not receive money from the government.

On Friday, the city of Chicago expressed an interest in working with the group and pointed out that the court had granted the organization a six-month extension to fix the code violations.

“The city has been diligently working with the RTW Veterans Center for the past year to address outstanding building code violations,” the city said in a statement to “And the city will continue to work with the organization to ensure repairs are completed and that the site is safe and accessible for veterans.”

The Obama Foundation has also reached out to the veteran's organization, praising its efforts.

“The Obamas have a long history of passionate support for our veterans and military families,” the letter in part states. “I want to personally thank you for the work you do. … We are humbled by your invitation to join your weekly meeting and look forward to working with you in the future.”

On Tuesday the group will appear in Cook County Court for a hearing on the progress of fixing up the building.