CHICAGO — At least two migrant families said they were kicked out of a shelter this weekend for missing curfew by a few minutes.
According to City officials, two new arrival families were asked to leave the Super 8 Motel near the intersection of North Sheridan Road and West Chase Avenue on Saturday for missing curfew multiple times. The two families were offered alternate shelter at the Inn of Chicago, but refused the accommodation.
Those close to the situation said they were late once by seven minutes, and they had no choice but to resort to camping out at a nearby park.
City officials said a second attempt to locate the families on Sunday was unsuccessful, until Tuesday, when they were found and offered shelter at the Inn of Chicago again and this time they accepted.
“A lot of these people, they don’t know the City,” said Baltazar Enriquez, President of the Little Village Community Council. “They don’t know where to stay. They don’t have family here so, we have to find them somewhere to stay. Sometimes we put them in volunteer houses or somebody who volunteers a place for them to stay.”
Sarah Lopez, a new arrival mother of two children, told WGN News rules at the shelter include no entering or leaving the building between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and no food in the sleeping areas, which she tries to abide by to avoid any violations.
In a statement made Tuesday, the City said, in part:
“With nearly 6,400 people in shelters, we cannot make exceptions for every situation that arises. There are rules in place for all 15 shelters for the safety of shelter residents, staff, and the surrounding community.”
City officials added shelters have a curfew of 11 p.m. unless a person has prior approval and has notified their case worker in advance for things like work.
Enriquez said he would still like to meet with city officials to help find a happy medium when it comes to helping new arrivals understand the rules and avoid getting kicked out.
“We have reached out to them so they could sit down with us, so we could create the policies with the community input,” Baltazar said. “Some of the residents are seeing the asylum seekers in the street, they’re sleeping on the floor and this is bringing down their property value in a way.”
In the meantime, City officials said they have received at least 11 more buses of migrants arriving from Texas in the last seven days, and are working to ensure temporary shelter.