CHICAGO (CBS) — We continue to hear from people across Chicago dealing with missing and delayed mail.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina started investigating the issues more than six months ago and the USPS has yet to address them fully. On Wednesday night, Molina dug into a month-long delay reported to us in the South Shore neighborhood.READ MORE: MISSING: Queen Redd, 38, Last Seen In Hyde Park In December
Ruth Yarborough depends on a check she gets in the mail at the beginning of every month. Three weeks into February, that is not the only thing she is missing – and she’s not the only one.
Leaving the house, especially with the snow on the ground, isn’t as easy as it used to be for Ruth Yarborough who uses a walker. Like most of her neighbors, Yarborough has been in called her neighborhood in South Shore home since the 1960s.
“We raised our children here. They’ve all grown up and gone away,” Yarborough said. “Senior citizens, most of us.”
But it’s more than time that binds them now. It’s a lack of mail service.
“It makes us feel hopeless and helpless,” Yarborough said.
Yarborough and her neighbors are missing checks and medicine, as they have been missing mail for more than a month.
“We need our mail,” she said. “We are tired of the excuses.”
Being tired and sick of waiting, and in need of the monthly check on which she relies, Yarborough said she had someone drive her to the Charles A. Hayes Post Office, 7436 S. Exchange Ave.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Mainly Clear And Not As Cold Sunday Night
She said she had to trudge through snow with her walker and wait in line outside – just to be told, “Well, I can’t help you.”
We heard from other seniors in the same neighborhood – same ZIP code – dealing with the same problems.
But when we asked USPS what’s going on, a spokesman sent us this generic statement about a disruption in service because of staff shortages related to the pandemic:
“We apologize for the disruption in service at the Post Office Station located at 7436 S. Exchange. We have experienced staff shortages at this location and are currently using available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes bringing in extra resources at this location. We have also been challenged by the recent accumulation of snow in our region and ask customers to keep the approaches to their mailboxes clear of ice and snow. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis.
Mail delivery is ongoing from the Charles Hayes Station location. We encourage customers that have a concern with their mail delivery, questions about specific pieces of mail, and or other service issues to contact their local Postal station or our Consumer Affairs office at 312-983-8403. The Postal Service will diligently continue to investigate customer’s concerns and correct deficiencies to improve service to our communities.”
Yarborough did not mince words in her response to that.
“they didn’t have a backup plan?” she said. “They can’t keep using that over and over and over again forever. When is it going to stop?”
The spokesman for USPS did not address our specific questions, nor a follow-up question about the delays – or why people who have shown up to the Post Office haven’t been able to get their mail.MORE NEWS: At Least 14 Shot, 1 Killed In Weekend Violence In Chicago
We will keep asking them.