As the immigration crisis continues in Chicago, with many ending up on the floor of the police station and some residents reluctant to provide them with beds, a group of city councilors came up with a solution Wednesday. I made a suggestion that there is.
A group of several Latino aldermen searched vacant buildings by borough, waiting for local approval, and social workers converted asylum-seekers and other homeless people into temporary shelters. , and eventually propose to set up a shelter. They can live in affordable permanent housing.
“We are working everywhere in the city to address existing problems as well as new arrivals,” said Aldo. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, May 25, said at a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday.
The plan will be an extension of the temporary asylum set up in Pilsen by Sigcho Lopez for asylum seekers and homeless people staying in “inhumane conditions in police districts and police districts”. The “dire situation” in the country has already improved, he said. At airports and viaducts. ”
Of course, the plan still needs funding and hasn’t been submitted to Congress yet, but Sigucho Lopez’s chief of staff, Lucia Calderón, has the backing of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration and has already He said that some quotas have been decided. Up.
Suggested locations are: Four unused buildings at Daly College in Westlawn. It can accommodate 400 people. An empty building on Archer and Kezie Streets in Brighton Park. It was said that 30 people could live there. The Little Village, a former CVS store, and the Arturo Velázquez Institute, a satellite campus of Daly University, can accommodate 200 people.
Calderon said Johnson had already toured West Lawn and the former CVS base. And a tour to Velázquez’ place was soon planned.
Newly elected Aldo. Julia Ramirez (12th), from the borough that includes the location of Brighton Park, was among those present to support the plan. Aldo. Jesse Fuentes (26th) and Aldo. Ruth Cruz (No. 30), who succeeded former Immigrant and Refugee Rights Commission chairman Ariel Leboiras, was also present.
Based on the operating costs of the Pilsen facility, a facility accommodating 200-250 people was expected to cost approximately $875,000 annually. A place with 30 people would cost about $80,000 a year.
The plan is the latest way to address Chicago’s immigration crisis, which began after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began bussing immigrants from the border to Chicago last August. About 10,000 migrants have arrived in the city since then, according to the city’s emergency department.
A plan to house immigrants this summer at Wilbur Wright College in Dunning received mixed responses from residents at a public forum Tuesday night at the Northwest Side campus. Still, the plan garnered more support than efforts elsewhere in the city, where immigration settlement schemes face fierce opposition. A lawsuit is being filed to stop immigrants from being housed at the vacant South Shore High School.
Some Southsiders stormed Wednesday’s press conference at City Hall.
“The community says no,” says Val Free, founder of the Neighborhood Network Alliance, a group of South Shore Block clubs. “You are ignoring our voices and presenting this plan.”
Another member of Mr. Free’s group said the plan did not address “18,000 citizens returning from prison.”
“When we go to prison they provide us with housing, but when we come back they don’t provide us with housing,” says Founding Ex-Con for Community and Social Transformation Tyrone F. Muhammad says:
Sigucho Lopez tried to assure the group that they were included in the plan, but they were not convinced. The two groups started talking to each other as reporters tried to ask questions.
“Let’s take the CHA land and use it to build affordable housing,” said Derrick Price, founder of the African American Community Trust, who took the mic. “Chicago has a lot of abandoned buildings. Put them online.”
George Lumbanis, an educator at Daly College and union president at City College, has stepped up to voice his support for the plan. “We can accommodate hundreds of people in a place where the community is not affected,” he said.
Lumbanis, who immigrated from Greece in the 1980s, said the situation would be better than when he arrived. He ended up staying in an empty building, where he was tricked into paying the rent by a local security guard. He considered it a bargain.
“Well, I didn’t know it was abandoned,” he said Wednesday. “Still, $75.”
Michael Loria is a staff reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Report for Americaa not-for-profit journalism program aimed at enhancing the paper’s coverage of the South Side and West Side communities.