What Chicago is experiencing in this moment is the result of white supremacy and systemic racism. We saw it as the pandemic took hold, and we see it as police officers continue to murder Black members of the community.
Where does someone experiencing homelessness go when the city institutes a curfew? How do they access essential needs like food and medical care when the city shuts down public transportation? Where do students and families experiencing homelessness find food when Chicago Public Schools (CPS) shut down food distribution?
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ grassroots leaders, staff, and board stand in solidarity with those protesting in the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. The protests are about more than these three tragedies. These protests are about a long history of violence and injustice that has been actively ignored by those with the power to change racist systems and policies.
In this moment, we demand the following actions be taken:
- Reverse the decision to shut down food distribution at CPS schools so that impoverished families and their children have access to the food they need to survive.
- Fully reopen Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) lines so that people, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness, can access services, food, and shelter.
- Stop any and all sweeps at encampments that are not specifically requested by people living there and ensure no people experiencing homelessness are harassed due to their housing status.
- Invest in real housing to serve the close to 80,000 people in our city who are living on the streets, in shelters, and doubled-up. This action includes:
- Using CARES Act funding to create rapid rehousing that will serve as a bridge to permanent housing with supportive services.
- Create real, dedicated funding at scale in Chicago for permanent housing with supportive services.
As an organization, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will provide financial and personal support to our peers leading this movement. In addition, our white staff commit to showing up and following the lead of leaders of color as we push for systemic change.