Heat Wave Especially Hard On The Homeless

CHICAGO (WBBM) — While many Chicagoans have plenty of options to escape the heat, it’s not so easy for the homeless.

Corey Babcock is 27, and said that he has been homeless on and off for the past eight years. Most recently, he said, he parted ways with a female friend in Appleton, Wis., in April, and he drifted back to Chicago.

Babcock said he has slept on the ‘L’ to keep warm and avoid blizzards in the winter. He said summer requires a different strategy.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

He said he does not like to panhandle, but tries to have enough money to buy a “bottomless” soda at a restaurant in the morning and keep refilling it until closing time, staying in an unobtrusive corner of the eatery if at all possible.

Speaking from the comfort of a Panera Bread restaurant in the West Loop, he said that what he finds most disturbing is the insensitivity of some Chicagoans and ignorance of others when they see the homeless sprawled out on park lawns or sidewalks in extreme weather.

“People walk by, and for all they know, that guy could have had heat stroke and he could be passed out or could be dead,” Babcock said. “Nobody’s paying attention.”

He urges those who spot a homeless person in obvious trouble to use a cell phone to call the city’s 311 non-emergency number with a precise address so that Family and Support Services personnel can take them to a cooling center.

Babcock has a backpack and a shopping cart, and carries a cell phone and laptop computer with him wherever he goes. He said, despite the cart, other homeless individuals approach him as many as 15 times a day seeking spare change.

“I keep on telling them, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m in your situation, too, and I don’t give out money, but if you’re hungry, I have a bag of chips here, I have a granola bar for you, I have a bottle of water, and would you like that?'” he said.

He said that by giving others who are homeless something other than money, he knows that they cannot use it to feed a destructive habit.

Despite suggesting that others call 311, he said city personnel are often slow to respond when the homeless call requesting transport to a cooling center. He said the wait in the heat and relentless sun can often worsen a case of heat exhaustion that is progressing toward heat stroke. He suggested using Traffic Management Authority vehicles to supplement Family and Support Services vans to rescue those in need of relief from the heat.

More from Bob Roberts
  • Max Chessher

    Well if you need a job check us out at http://www.employmentvoice.com

  • Dan

    I am sick of these bleeding heart stories. As a taxpayer, I resent that my taxes are being used to fund “services” for these losers. If he doesn’t like the climate, why does he stay here? He has been homeless for his entire adult life…let him die. He is a worthless individual who will continue to expect the rest of us to support him for the rest of his life.

    • Ignorance Kills

      Millions of us are taxpayers and I am sick and tired of that line being used. You can dislike whatever the hell you want, but to say “let him die” reflects a sour and bitter jerk who will probably get a wake-up call of your own.

      • Ashley

        SOrry ignorance my comment was just for Dan i mis read your comment and I agree with you 100 % People like Dan need to experiance this situation before they can judge. My appologies it wasnt ment for you.

    • Ashley

      to Dan and Ignorance and to all those who agree with these two ignorant people. Pray to go one day you are not on the street. These people had it all like both u and i but sometimes you loose it all. i hope you bite your tounge and god punishes you in the way you deserve. to loose it all or have your loved one in a simiiar situation. Dont judge if you dont know the story, Dont judge if you dont know how it feels. Dont judge unless you have been in this situation. you rather pay taxes to help those with wealth rather then to provide for those in need. God sees all and he knows who is wrong.

      • Steve

        Why don’t you invite that lazy loser to live with you?

      • Ashley

        For your information i dont brag about being wealthy i have my own financial situation. BUt yet with my status i help those in need. its a shame to know that students ages 5-14 from my school have more heart at there age then you old jerks. But if i could i would greatly take him in. Because unlike bitter jerks i have a heart to help those in need. I help out in shelters comes winter time, breath taking stories and people. you need reality to smack you in the face and show you nothing is promised. you rather help protect murders with your taxes then those who go days without eating to feed their kids. you are a true example of how ignorant people can be. Pray to god u never have to beg for money,

    • Eric79

      Oh good grief, most of these people have problems. I am unemployed and I can guarantee you I have more skills then everyone else on this site put together. So why don’t McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Target, or any of the other small places I applied to hire me? Because i’m over 40? I want to work. Give me a chance and I will. I’ll take minimum wage, just enough to pay my rent, I’ll get by somehow, but I can’t. So when you say, McDonalds’ is hiring, that may be true, but they won’t hire me? Why? I have great references, never had any employment problems Why? What’s going on here? Am I gonna be like this guy in two months? Maybe but if you can’t get a job in fast food, what hope is there. And I have nice clothes and skills. Can you imagine a homeless person trying to get a job?

    • Sharebear

      You seem very Heartless.. What goes around comes around Karma is a real witch… You seem like a real jerk. You don’t judge people for what they can’t control. Some people just have really hard times in their life. He wasn’t asking for anything he was just saying the facts. Maybe you need to read it again or maybe just be nice.and if you don’t have anything nice don’t say anything at all

      • Dan

        He is only 27 and has been homeless for 8 years…do the math. He has been and will always be a parasite on the rest of us who actually work for a living and pay taxes. Why don’t you let him live with you if you think he is such a model citizen?

  • Working man

    Losers some are people how lost ther jobs and are now on the street with kids Pray that it dos not happen to you the way things are today

  • Taxpayer 2

    He needs a job. For that matter all of them probably need to be working. Thanks.

    • Ashley

      Taxpayer, if it is so hard to get a job for all of those in unemployment what makes it easier for those who dont have a home? Yes they try thats y they are outside of stores asking for change and in return carry your grocery bags to your car. Its very sad that people say they are lazy and should get a job. well its not that easy,,,,, If itw as they wouldnt be in the situation they are in now.

  • asdf

    I feel sorry for the homeless. I feel even sorrier for the other people on the bus he gets on to go nowhere.

  • Saluki

    actually I apologize to Max. My comment is directed to Dan, the real ass.

  • R A

    I have invited homeless people to my home during cold or hot weather seasons and haven’t regretted it once, they were quite handy at fixing things that my bldg engineeer would have charged me over the top.

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