DFSS Announcement: Winter Beds Availability

A blue stripe and red star form the DFSS logo, accompanied by the text: "DFSS, Department of Family and Support Services"

DFSS officially launched the Salvation Army’s winter beds at the Freedom Center. This is an overnight shelter that will serve single men and will be filled via 3-1-1 referrals, but also allow people to walk up or be dropped off by Outreach Teams. There will be 100 beds available every night.

Clients that are placed in this shelter through the walk up/outreach team drop-off option will not need an SR #, but will instead sign in upon arrival starting at 6:30 p.m.

Salvation Army Freedom Center

  • 825 N Christiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60651
  • South Door, Door A
  • Overnight Congregate-Bed Shelter

Normal Hours of Operation:

Weekends

  • Fridays: Referrals start at 6:30 pm
  • Saturday-Sunday: Referrals can be made 24/7
  • Monday mornings, the shelter will close at 8:30 a.m. directly after breakfast

Monday – Thursday

Shelter will operate as an overnight shelter from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m. the next day.

If a count of winter beds is needed, please call the front desk at 312-667-2204

WBEZ: As the 60-day shelter stay limit looms, a WBEZ analysis reveals most migrants stay longer

Carolina Gonzalez of Venezuela carries supplies into the Chicago City Life Center Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.

Thousands of migrants who lived in city shelters have stayed longer than 60 days — the length of a looming city deadline that will start affecting the first wave of migrants next month.

A WBEZ analysis of the lengths of their shelter stays finds that roughly 7 in 10 have stayed longer than 60 days, and that an average stay was 76 days for migrants who had exited shelter before Nov. 1.

If housing hasn’t been secured by the time a migrant’s shelter stay is up, they will have to give up their spot and return to the city’s landing zone for new arrivals and put in another request for shelter. Only under extenuating circumstances, such as a medical crisis, extreme cold weather or a pending move-in date with a signed lease, will extensions be granted, according to the city.

It’s difficult to discern how the 60-day deadline may impact the city’s overall homeless services system, said Sam Paler-Ponce, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ interim associate director of policy, who stressed that long-term housing solutions are ultimately needed.

“It looks like the new arrival system and the Chicago homeless services system have been kind of separate,” Paler-Ponce. “And at the 60-day mark, we might start to see these populations overlap quite a bit.”

Volunteers and advocates are fearful the policy will disrupt the modicum of stability asylum-seekers may have achieved.

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