One sleeping bag. Two pairs of shoes. Three bags. The city has rules for what homeless people can own in two areas — Lower Wacker Drive and the Wilson viaduct in Uptown. As we head into winter, police officers have been handing out paper copies of the policy to the homeless there. Diane O’Connell is a staff attorney with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and she’s spent the last two and a half years interviewing homeless folks on the street about their experiences, like when police seize their possessions. She helped negotiate the policy with the city on what the homeless can and cannot have.
Link to listen to the Soundcloud taping of Diane’s WBEZ interview.