Chicago migrants face uncertain future as emergency shelter status ends

The Chicago Park District has announced that five of its facilities will cease to serve as emergency shelters for migrants, citing a lack of necessity.

According to city officials, some of the facilities require maintenance, prompting the decision to discontinue their use as shelters.

Migrants who were utilizing these facilities will be relocated to nearby shelters, the city stated. However, uncertainty looms for some migrants like Jorge, who has been residing at Broadway Armory Park in Edgewater with his three children for the past four months. Jorge expressed uncertainty about his future living arrangements.

"They extended the time until April 17 to me and my family. From there, I don’t know what’s going to happen with us," he said. "They’re going to send us to where we arrived first. We arrived at the 16th District (police station)."

He says he’s being sent back to the police station, but the city says migrants will be sent to other shelters.

Broadway Armory Park has been serving as a shelter since August of last year, accommodating 300 migrants who were bused from Texas. The facility primarily housed families.

In addition to Broadway Armory Park, four other Chicago Park District facilities currently functioning as temporary emergency housing will be vacated to make way for summer programming, including school programs, summer camps, fitness centers, and other activities.

Alderman Ray Lopez expressed support for the decision to resume regular programming but emphasized the need for a long-term plan.

Despite a period of dormancy in migrant arrivals, buses carrying migrants have gradually resumed coming to Chicago, prompting concerns about the city's preparedness for potential influxes of migrants.