Closing men's shelter leaves Uptown's homeless with tough choices
CHICAGO (FOX 32 NEWS) - Advocates for the homeless will sleep outside Tuesday night to protest the closing of a men's shelter in Uptown on the city’s North Side.
The 72-bed facility is closing this month due to lack of city and state funding and rising costs. Community activists Andrew Holmes and Michael Arhart are protesting the closing of the shelter and asking for more resources from the government.
“It's disrespectful that we can sit around we go the powerful elected officials in the city and we can't keep that shelter open can't put the money and provide food and service and give them jobs. How can we be a leading city in Chicago, Illinois and we can’t help our own?” Holmes asked.
The men's facility in Uptown run by North Side Housing and Supportive Services is set to close Dec. 23 because of the state budget crisis. The city sayid they've managed to relocate most of the residents, but advocates argue that's not enough.
“These people are still out on the streets. You don't stop until you get every homeless person off the streets out of the subways under Wacker Drive - this is two different cities,” Holmes said.
Activists said if one shelter closes, another should open and closing the facility will only push people outside to the Tent City on Lawrence Avenue under Lake Shore Drive.
"There's like seven people that got nowhere to go so we are going to make some room but as you can see it's pretty full as it is,” Tent City resident Carlos valdez said.
City officials said they've been able to find housing for all but 16 out of the 72 clients, adding "we acted quickly to ensure a smooth transition for all impacted clients."