An email from 46th Ward Alderwoman Angela Clay:
It’s been an honor to serve our diverse ward for nine weeks, learning more about the rich culture we share and meeting neighbors who simply want to help make our communities a home for all. Since coming into office, one of the growing challenges facing our city has been the ongoing crisis of neighbors coming from the southern border seeking refuge. Chicago continues to stand up to our sanctuary city values as we work together to offer them long term resources in the form of housing, education, and safe communities.
Our communities of Uptown, Buena Park, and Lakeview have been playing a vital role supporting new arrivals who have been temporarily staying in our 19th and 20th District police stations. Mutual aid networks and local faith-based organizations have ensured that neighbors have access to clothes, food, and a welcoming community.
Now, the city is asking that our ward step up to the plate further and continue to support new neighbors. Our office was recently notified of a temporary shelter opening in our ward, housed at the former site of the American Islamic College at Irving Park and Marine Drive, originally the building of Immaculata High School. This Department of Family and Social Services (DFSS)-run site will include case workers with wrap-around services, coordinated health care efforts with Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and partner organizations. They will also have a comprehensive safety plan with CPD and on-site security, and will provide 3 meals a day to asylum seekers staying at the shelter. As has been communicated to us by a cross department inter-agency city task force, the site is set to open on July 28th and will house between 500 and 600 new neighbors.
We know that this is new information for everyone in our community on a short timeline. Many of you will have important questions and insights, and our office wants to ensure that everyone has access to relevant information and is able to have questions and concerns answered. Transparent community engagement is a core pillar of our 46th Ward office, and we want to make sure everyone has as much information as possible. This is why our office, in coordination with the Mayor’s Office, Department of Family and Social Services (DFSS), Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), and Chicago Police Department (CPD), is hosting a community meeting on Friday July 21st at 6pm at St. Mary of the Lake (4220 N Sheridan). We want to ensure that everyone in our community is able to access clear information quickly and proactively, and this meeting is one important step in making sure that happens.
Please make sure to follow our social media for additional information about this community meeting, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our office if there are specific questions you want to make sure we address. An FAQ document answering questions will be shared in the coming days."