Some homeless people in Chicago are asking the city stop cleaning up their tents and belongings until it warms up—as the frigid temperatures and living on the streets makes it hard enough, the say.
Community activist Andrew Holmes presented nearby shelter, the Preston Bradley Center, with a $10,000 check raised on a GoFundMe page. The shelter was on the brink of closing right before Christmas due to a funding shortage.
With last minute private donations and funding from the city—it now has enough to stay open through the year.
“We need more than that,” Holmes said.
Many of the tents are near Lake Shore Drive in the Uptown neighborhood. Every other Friday the city cleans up the encampments.
“Something’s got to be done about this because this is very inhumane,” one man in the encampments told NBC 5.
The homeless say they’re forced to move their belongings because of the cleanings regardless of inclement weather.
Many of the homeless people in the tent city say the city knows how much harder the cleaning makes their lives and is aware of the threat it poses to those exposed to the elements.
“You got older men out here—my uncle an Army vet—my cousins, friends and family for me,” said Louis Jones, who said he lives in the encampment.
Activists say keeping the shelter open for the homeless is a big win—now they’re hoping to also temporarily stop the street cleanings under the viaduct.
The city said Friday’s scheduled cleaning was postponed due to the extreme cold but it will continue to monitor weather conditions and postpone cleanings as necessary.