The issue of homelessness in our city speaks to deeper issues of economic opportunity, joblessness, availability of affordable housing, how we care for those with mental and physical injuries and the priorities of our city. City officials continue to remove homeless people from areas of the city, most recently the Triangle under Wacker Drive, yet they fail to provide the resources that will support them in the future. We cannot continue to brush aside human beings with real needs so they are not seen because they are offensive to some residents.
European cities, in general, do much better than North America in providing housing for the homeless, and one example is in Vienna where they have drawn attention from countries including the U.S on how they handle the issue. Realizing there is no one size fits all model we should certainly remain open to expanding our efforts by looking at models like theirs that encourage “social housing.”
We must work with homeless advocates and activist and groups like the Metropolitan Planning Council to formulate plans to eradicate homelessness rather than removing it from sight.
The plight of homeless is not some insignificant issue that can be swept up, along with their belongings under lower Wacker Drive. I committed to be the Mayor for all Chicago and that includes our fellow citizens who have been disenfranchised because of homelessness.