CHICAGO — Some Chicago residents are getting fed up with what they say is the mayor’s lack of communication on migrant housing.
Morgan Park and Roseland residents are speaking out against a proposed migrants shelter and tent basecamp.
“For years we have wanted this facility for our children programs we have been denied,” Roseland resident Patrick Gibbons said. “Now you’re going to tell me you’re going to take my tax money and give it to somebody else?”
The proposed migrant shelter and tent basecamp would be located at the former Jewel-Osco near the intersection of West 115th Street and South Halsted Avenue in Morgan Park.
Allies of Mayor Brandon Johnson, including Alderman Byron Sigcho Lopez, blocked a vote in council on Wednesday that would have allowed the city to buy the old Jewel-Osco building and the surrounding parking lot for $1.
But, the proposal could come back up for consideration at next week’s meeting.
42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly upset about a plan to house migrants in River North, not The Hotel Chicago as he originally heard, but at the former Museum of Broadcast Communications building on the 300 block of North State Street in the Marina City Complex.
A spot Reilly feels isn’t fit for a shelter.
“We have a whole lot of issues related to the casino and 2,000 residents who live directly across a driveway from this proposed facility who are concerned on how things have played out at The Inn of Chicago in Streeterville,” Reilly said. “I’m using that as the best case example for how stacking up vertically thousands of people in a building doesn’t work.”
While residents and city officials are at odds, those helping migrants transition into existing shelters and permanent housing say all the infighting in the middle of a humanitarian crisis is frustrating to watch.
The building owners of the Museum of Broadcast Communications told Reilly that Mayor Johnson’s team did tour the space and expressed interest in converting it into a shelter to house more than a thousand migrants.