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Edgewater Homeless Living Under LSD Viaducts To Be Relocated

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Photo: Curtis Locke, chi.streetsblog.org

Over the past year, an increasing number of Edgewater homeless individuals have been living under the Lake Shore Drive viaducts. With some residents finding them a nuisance, others see them as individuals who are simply trying to survive during a difficult time.

In a statement put out by Alderman Harry Osterman, he responded to many Edgewater residents who have expressed concern about these homeless encampments.

The Alderman, in conjunction with the City of Chicago, the Department of Family & Support Services, other elected officials, homeless advocate agencies and various social service agencies in our ward have been working on a new pilot program to help these individuals. Currently there are about 75 people who find shelter under the area’s viaducts. 

This pilot program, which is a part of the city’s Task Force to Reduce Homelessness, was developed specifically to help find homes for these people and at the same time provide “social supports” to help them get back on their feet.

Alderman Osterman said, “I am committed to cultivating a safe environment for everyone who lives in the 48th Ward, and this includes ensuring safe shelter is readily available as an option for the homeless in our community.”

According to the statement, efforts are already under way to help these individuals find homes. The Task Force is hoping to have them all housed by summer’s end.

The Alderman added, “While these homeless individuals may be the most visible example of our neighbors who are struggling during these challenging economic times, they are by no means the only ones.”

In April alone, Edgewater’s food pantry, Care For Real, gave food to 5,700 residents and provided clothing for 1,400. That is a 15 percent increase over last year.

The Alderman will be keeping area residents informed about this pilot program over the next several months. He will also be seeking community help to ensure these homeless individuals find shelter in a dignified manner.


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