CHICAGO — As a sense of urgency grows, with winter fast approaching, Chicago’s mayor says he is looking to shore up support with influential pastors as the city efforts migrant relief.
On Monday, Mayor Brandon Johnson acknowledged the concern.
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“We hear the frustrations. We hear the concerns. And getting to the other side of this is going to take all of us,” Johnson said.
Amid scores of protests across the city, some locals oppose the construction of migrant shelters in their neighborhoods. Moreover, many have expressed to WGN News that they feel the city has left them behind.
“The pain and frustration that the people of Chicago, particularly Black Chicago, are experiencing, I recognize that,” Johnson said.
Addressing the latest concerns at the Indiana Avenue Pentecostal Church of God in Bronzeville, Johnson was joined by Bishop Simon Gordon with the Triedstone Church of Chicago. Gordon asked Chicagoans to stand with their mayor as the city navigates their plans for the unhoused.
“We have to be good citizens and be able to accept and deal with those who come in to be a part of the process,” Gordon said.
The humanitarian crisis has brought more than 20,000 primarily Venezuelan migrants to the city. But the cold weather looms, presenting a tremendous challenge for the city.
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The thorny issue of migrant shelters is complicated for many but Derrick Johnson, the national director of the NAACP, said he supports Johnson and his efforts.
“I look forward to working with this community and other communities as we address the systemic problems of homelessness and migrants who are coming here for refuge,” Johnson said. “Those two things are hand-in-hand.”
No word yet on when large, military-style base camps will be erected in the city for migrants.
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