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Chicago’s Homeless Population Boom

The Windy City is struggling with a migrant surge and homelessness.

Sanctuary cities like Chicago are finding out just how heavy a burden they signed up for as migrants pour across the border. Before President Joe Biden took over the Oval Office and undid many of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, these mostly Democrat-run territories welcomed illegal aliens with open arms. But once their own jurisdictions started to feel the burn, they began complaining. How were they supposed to financially support these undocumented people, provide them shelter, food, medical care, legal expertise, and travel? But financial woes were only part of the problem; disease, crime, and homelessness rose as well. In fact, Chicago’s homeless population increased by a whopping 200% this year.

Homeless in Chicago

The city released its annual snapshot last week, which showed that there are 18,836 homeless people this year in Chicago. Compare that to just 6,139 unsheltered in 2023, and that’s an increase of 200%. The count was done on January 25 and listed 13,679 “sheltered new arrivals” (asylum-seekers) and 212 “unsheltered new arrivals.” The latter refers to people sleeping on the streets – with 212 being an increase of 960% from the just 20 of 2023. Furthermore, non-asylum seekers on the streets rose by 25% as well.

Maura McCauley, managing deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, told the Chicago Sun Times that the city has tried to resettle more than 43,000 migrants. She also claimed the COVID pandemic had a lot to do with the increase in homeless people, stating: “We really think that’s because pandemic era supports, like SNAP benefits and stimulus resources from the state and federal government, came to an end, between 2022 and 2023. And the Chicago housing market has become less and less affordable.”

However, from 2022 to 2023, there was an 18% decrease in people leaving the shelters and going into permanent housing. During the same time, people stayed homeless longer – 843 days, a 38-day increase from 2022, The Times explained.

Despite opening more shelters and limiting the time migrants can stay in them, Chicago is still experiencing a serious homeless problem. One proposed solution involves merging shelter facilities to better serve everyone in the homeless population. In other words, asylum-seekers and residents alike would shelter together.

“We absolutely have the funding streams to be able to provide the capacity that is needed,” Beatriz Ponce De León, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s deputy mayor for immigrant, migrant, and refugee rights told The Times. “And certainly as we look at merging the systems or creating something that’s new, we are taking into account the diversity of people that are entering the system. We do have new patterns of migration.”

Funding, though, has been a problem for Johnson, especially since the city has already spent $300 million on illegal migrants, sparking anger from residents and officials. Many of the mayor’s plans have been thwarted, including a tax increase on the sale of high-end properties that would have reportedly raised around $100 million per year for the homeless.

Johnson may have thought Chicago would find some relief from migrants arriving after Biden enacted his new border policy, but as Liberty Nation News explained, just two days after the president’s executive action to limit the number of asylum-seekers to 2,500 per day, there were around 10,000 migrants in Border Patrol custody. The Windy City’s homeless problem may continue to worsen for some time.

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