CHICAGO (CBS) — Homeless people who live under Lake Shore Drive viaducts asked the city on Friday to show some compassion and stop the cleanings that force them to remove their belongings.
The media-savvy homeless people who live underneath the viaduct at Lawrence Avenue called a press conference to air their grievances:
“A lot of people’s lives are gonna be in jeopardy now. People gonna die out here, and that’s not right,” Loydell Roberson said.
Bundled up against the cold, they were moving their tents, bins, and bags of stuff to make room for cleaning crews. They said, when the city sends crews to clean every other week, they have to drag all their belongings out, and some are sick, and all are cold.
“It’s clear they are only doing this to make our lives as hard as they could,” Mark Saulys said.
They are not all people who have given up. Some have cellphones. Some have jobs.
“All we’re asking is for the public to get behind us – the homeless down here – because we don’t harm anybody. We don’t hurt anybody. We just want a home to go to. Like everybody else, who wants to sleep in the cold? I don’t think anybody does,” Joseph Murray said.
They said shelters are not a solution, because they only offer a place to sleep at night. In the morning, they must leave.
“Shelters are not a solution. Shelters are emergency places where you stay overnight. Your life is more chaotic than living in the tents,” Maria Murray said.
The city has helped some with housing, and has said the cleanings are not going to stop.