Community leaders call for stop on removal of West Side homeless encampment


CHICAGO — A press conference was held Tuesday by local leaders and the Illinois Union of the Homeless to call for a stop on a removal notice that was given by the city to people living under the viaduct on Hirsch and Monticello in Humboldt Park.  

Organizers used the cold temperatures as an example as to why people living there shouldn’t be removed.  

“Winter in Chicago can be death sentence for you if you’re homeless,” Illinois Union of the Homeless’s Joseph Perry said. “And your only crime is that you live in extreme poverty.” 

Organizers say for months they have asked the City of Chicago to repurpose empty buildings for housing. They are also asking for support for the Bring Home Chicago ordinance.   

The ordinance would increase the city transfer tax on property sales more than $1 million, generating approximately $160 million a year to fund homelessness programs in the city.   

There are currently three people living under the viaduct, but officials say this is an example of the bigger issue that happening across the city.   

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“Today let us say ‘Let’s support the Bring Home Chicago Ordinance,’” said Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Alderman of the 25th Ward. “Let’s bring every initiative to make sure that everybody across the city of Chicago has the right be sheltered, the right to have a home, the right be here in the City of Chicago because that’s at stake. People kicking working people out of the city and we’re all one paycheck away from being homeless.” 

Representatives with the Illinois Union of the Homeless said they are standing by the encampment to help the people living there now find a new home if the their tents are taken down.  

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