Chicago man who typically feeds homeless comes to Elk Grove Village to serve migrants

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ByLeah Hope via WLS logo
Thursday, September 22, 2022 10:49PM
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Michael Airhart, who runs Taste for the Homeless, has been coming to Elk Grove Village to feed newly arrived migrants in a vacant parking lot.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Every day for the last three weeks, a Chicago man who typically is feeding Chicagoans who are homeless has been coming to Elk Grove Village to feed newly arrived migrants in a vacant parking lot. He chose this location close to where they are staying.

"They go through so much," Michael Airhart said. "A lot of them lost their family trying to get here, lot of them displaced. Their families are still there stuck."

Airhart brought his Taste for the Homeless Cafe to the suburbs at the request of Pastors Lucy and Pedro Gomez with the Elgin non-profit House of Restoration.

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"We want to be able to help them out, empower them, train them, get their jobs, get their apartment," Pastor Lucy Gomez said. "They are coming here to work. They are not coming here to be part of the problem, they want to be part of the solution."

Each of the Venezuelan migrants we spoke with have stories of difficult journeys they made for the families.

Juan Carlos left his two young daughters July 26 crossing a jungle, and was detained in other countries.

Now he is ready to work for his family and he tells us how grateful he is for the pastors and Airhart.

Dalia is a mother of three. At 51, she's been a construction worker and a baker. She tells us of crossing a desert and dangerous rivers. Now she wants to move forward to help her family.

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"I wish the community could hear some of these stories, 'cause maybe we would see a greater outpouring in our community," Pastor Pedro Gomez said.

These volunteers say the need is great for housing, jobs and new clothes for these new arrivals and those en route to the Chicago area.