During cold, city must increase shelter bed capacity

The city also should respond to calls for shelter in a timely manner to prevent cold weather-related illnesses.

SHARE During cold, city must increase shelter bed capacity

People walk along the shore of Lake Michigan during the cold weather day in Chicago on Sunday.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

Chicago has been under a winter weather advisory for a couple of days, and is now entering a wind chill advisory for sub-zero weather. Volunteers working with persons experiencing homelessness in Jefferson Park have been scrambling to distribute winter coats, hats, gloves and blankets. 

They have also called City of Chicago 311 for shelter placement for people experiencing homelessness, including senior citizens, and no shelter beds have been available. Some people have waited three or more days for a shelter bed. 

The city must do something to increase shelter bed capacity and respond to calls for shelter in a timely manner to prevent cold weather-related illnesses. And, let’s prioritize calls for shelter beds for older adults. 

Monica Dillon, volunteer, Jefferson Park Working Group on Homelessness

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