Majority of evictions at Chicago migrant shelters on hold as city grapples with measles outbreak

Leah Hope Image
Saturday, March 16, 2024
Majority of evictions at Chicago migrant shelters on hold, city says
As the Chicago migrant crisis continues, most evictions at shelters are on hold as the city grapples with a measles outbreak.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The original plan to evict people from shelters this weekend altered as city official plead for help from the federal government with the migrant crisis.

As new arrivals are eager for donated food and clothes, there is news that the city is pushing back its plan for most shelter evictions this weekend.

Maria Perez with SW Collective is at the Halsted shelter most days giving out food and supplies

"I think this is a good call for them in order, to get more situated," Perez said.

On Friday, city officials held a virtual briefing, announcing changes to its policy which would allow more than 2,000 new arrivals to stay at shelters through April. Those with children could stay until June to have consistency for kids in school.

"We are prioritizing families to lessen the disruption of school year," said Chicago Chief of Policy Umi Grigsby.

In the briefing, it was revealed 35 staying in shelters would be evicted on Sunday, and if they still were without housing, they would start the process again by going to the city's landing site.

SEE ALSO | Measles outbreak rises to 12 total cases; 98 migrants exposed at Pilsen shelter quarantine at hotel

"Most importantly, it emphasizes the need from the federal government, as this is not sustainable," said Chicago First Deputy Chief of Staff Cristine Pacione-Zayas.

And that would be the city's process for other migrants who are evicted: start over at the landing site to apply for a spot in a city shelter.

"The process starts at the landing site, and that is our process," said Chicago Dept. Family and Support Services Commissioner Brandie Knazze.

Back at the Halsted shelter, where most households include children who would be able to stay through the school year, ABC7 meet Rosa, who didn't want to be identified.

She told ABC7 to get first and last months' rent to move out is difficult. And in the meantime, they haven't been told anything about the extension to stay.

City officials said anyone coming through the landing site needs to have proof of measles vaccination or take an MMR vaccine in order to go into a shelter.

But those working with new arrivals and the Venezuelans ABC7 has spoken with said what is really needed are work permits so that new arrivals can begin provide for themselves and their families.