Chicago homeless residing at Hotel Julian during pandemic suddenly relocated

On a chilly and windy Wednesday afternoon, Latrice Madison was loading up a blue van with bins and bags in the alleyway of Hotel Julian.

Madison has called the hotel her residence for nearly 120 days.

"During me being homeless, I was sent here," said Madison, who is a homeless woman in the process of establishing stable employment to get back on her feet.

Madison was in the presence of her caseworker, and was being relocated to a homeless shelter.

The City of Chicago was footing the bill during the pandemic, renting 175 rooms in the Michigan Avenue hotel starting in February 2021.

However, two weeks ago some residents, according to Madison, were told they had to leave with very little-to-no warning.

"People were getting knocks on the door the next day after the mandatory meeting," said Madison.


The City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services did respond to that claim with the following statement:

"DFSS and shelter partners have worked with residents to ensure all participants have shelter or housing options. Some shelter beds have become available before the final move out date of February 25. As such, DFSS and shelter-partners worked to help relocate individuals. A trauma-informed approach has been a critical element of this process, and we have worked alongside Hotel Julian participants to ensure as smooth of a transition as possible."

In November 2021, Chicago’s City Council extended a deal to pay more than $500,000 a month for homeless people to be housed at Hotel Julian.

Add it all up and that’s $6,000,000 for one year.

The city didn’t say it became too costly, but residents say it came down to one big issue.

"Funding," said Madison.

The city also says the housing arrangement was never meant to be permanent and says of total clients to date many have established housing.

  • 85 have moved into housing through the Expedited Housing Initiative (EHI)
  • 66 are in process for housing through the Expedited Housing Initiative
  • 21 have moved into housing through an alternate pathway