Update: A reader alerted us to this interactive map that shows where homeless shelters are in Chicago and what types are allocated to each particular neighborhood. Make sure to select all types of shelters on the right side in the legend.
To: 48th Ward Residents
From: Alderman Mary Ann Smith, 48th Ward
Re: Closing of homeless shelters
Your input and suggestions are needed with respect to a concern to our
community. The issue is homeless shelters.
Last year, Breakthrough Urban Ministries moved 30 overnight beds from the 5200
block of Ashland to the west side of the City. This summer, the Tom Seay Center
in Uptown (1000 block of Sunnyside) was closed because they lacked appropriate
zoning, resulting in a loss of 95 beds. This November 1st, the R.E.S.T. shelter
on Kenmore will close, removing another 55 beds. The only one of these shelters
in the 48th Ward is R.E.S.T. The closure is the result of ongoing financial and
We have been assured that the city has the capacity to move people, on a daily
basis, from gathering points to existing shelter beds. These beds also provide
counseling, treatment and other services that have never been provided through
R.E.S.T. Others argue, however, that the homeless won’t go, preferring the
outdoor cold to the danger of new locations, leading to both an increasing
impact of homeless encampment in our streets, alleys and parks, and the eventual
possibility of sickness and of freezing to death. This argument, in turn, speaks
to the necessity of a new permanent or temporary shelter location in our area.
We are a ward and community that makes decisions together – trying to listen,
talk, argue and then decide. We try to balance compassion and practicality. We
need to do that now. If you have practical suggestions or ideas about how you
can help, we would like to put them into the community conversation. Time is
short. We will discuss this at the next Z&P meeting, October 29th at 7:30. You
can e-mail us at info@MASmith48.org or write us at Mary Ann Smith, 5533 N.
Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640. Practically speaking, we need your input before
this meeting, by Friday, October 24th.
Please share this request with your block club, condominium association,
neighbors and community.
Alderman Mary Ann Smith,