Greektown shelter sparks debate over background checks and safety measures

Residents are once again at odds over migrants moving into another Chicago neighborhood.

This time, they are expected to move into Greektown starting Friday. However, the public had some questions for city leaders about the shelter Wednesday night.

This isn't the first time that migrants called the Parthenon Hostel home. Between October of last year and February of this year, migrants temporarily lived there and the public was not alerted about it.

The hostel can hold 136 migrants, but this time 196 are set to move in this coming Friday, and Chicago police say they will be prepared.

"We will be in the building to see what’s going on, and then once people are outside we will know who they are," said Chicago Police Commander Beth Giltmier.

The city has a one-year contract with the facility, which is set to house single men and single women.

Alderman of the 34th Ward Bill Conway says he was barely given any notice and was only told about it last week.

"I am disappointed and frustrated by the lack of notice and detail that I have been given. Clearly, there wasn’t much of a plan here," said Ald. Conway.

Conway also said he is aware of the tense situation with overcrowding of migrants at the 12th District Police Station.

Just Tuesday, CPD said they arrested a 20-year-old, who sources say was a migrant. He was taken into custody for threatening an officer and charged with two misdemeanors.

Conway says he tried to relieve some of the pressure on that district.

"I had asked the mayor’s office, ‘Can people be moved from the 12th District into the Parthenon Guest House?’ That request was denied," said Ald. Conway.

The meeting also brought up questions about background checks and safety concerns. 

"I cannot guarantee that anyone that comes into any of our shelters has had a background check that we can look at reliably," said Chicago Deputy Mayor for Migrant and Refugee Rights Beatriz Ponce de Leon.

However, the city said four security guards will monitor the shelter at all times.

On Wednesday, four more busloads of migrants arrived in Chicago and there are now 18 shelters operated by the city.