Homeless Chicago Airport: How Many People Are Houseless In 2020?

Even though it’s one of the busiest airports in the country, the “dystopian” situations are exhausting both the workers and the travelers. And it appears that not much is being done about it.

The growing homeless population in Chicago has transformed Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport into a vast, “dystopian” encampment, raising severe safety concerns among workers and passengers who claim they have been followed and harassed.

The airport, the fourth busiest in the country, has makeshift shelters inside its terminals, as shocking photographs demonstrate.

That has gotten out of hand. Vonkisha Chatman, who works the nightly shift in Terminals 1 and 2, told CBS News, “None of us feel comfortable.

Homeless Chicago Airport
Homeless Chicago Airport

Ms. Chatman and her coworkers have experienced harassment from the homeless population, and the New  York Post reports.

They’ll approach you from behind. Last night, this individual followed us, said Catherine Thompson, another airport employee, to the news organization.

“From the time we get here until we leave in the morning, they will be here.”

The two women claim that although their managers have instructed them to call the police, the policemen have informed them that they cannot assist unless the workers have been physically molested.

They only advise us to exercise caution because they feel powerless to affect the situation, Ms. Chatman added.

Here is a video connected of airport workers frustrated with more homeless people moving in-

One Twitter user called on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to address the issue after posting images of a homeless guy slumped on the ground in Terminal 2.

Clean up this city, please! This is the current situation at O’Hare Airport, where homeless people live all around Terminal 2 and shout in people’s faces.

They said, “This is people’s first impression of our city.”

Another traveler posted a shocking picture of numerous homeless people camped out between a glass door and an escalator, complete with their belongings and trash.
In her “50 years of living” in the state, a third visitor who landed at Terminal 3 claimed she had “never seen such a hopeless situation.”

It’s not that cold outside! Also, aggressively ask for a ride while carrying luggage. Dystopian, they declared.

According to Jessica Dubuar of Haymarket Centre, a company that provides services for the homeless at the airport, the numbers are rising yearly.

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According to the research, Haymarket noticed 618 additional homeless people at the airport in 2022, a 43% increase from the 431 they saw the previous year.

When asked why homeless people don’t use shelters, Ms. Dubuar responded, “They’re filled. Shelters are entirely packed.

“A lot of folks don’t end up at the airport because that’s their goal. That is the last option they have,” she said.

The Chicago Department of Aviation and Family Support Services jointly sponsor Haymarket Centre.

One of the busiest Januarys we’ve ever had at O’Hare, according to Ms. Dubuar, who spoke to the non-profit news website Block Club Chicago. “We are encountering more people and situations that are fresh to our system.”

According to a 2022 report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 65,611 city people were homeless in 2020, said Mary Tarullo, associate director of policy and strategy, to Block Club Chicago.

The Northwest Side Homeless Outreach’s Monica Dillon claimed that in trying to address the expanding issue, the city is “stretched thin.”

To focus on homelessness prevention, homelessness outreach, and shelter outreach, she remarked, “We need more social services and more resources and money.”

In an interview with Block Club Chicago, a homeless man who had spent a night at Terminal 2 recounted his situation.

The man, who went by the name Shorty, told the outlet, “I need surgery [because] my lung collapsed and I got pneumonia.”

He stated that he receives disability benefits and intends to undergo surgery soon.

Since Delta Airlines relocated from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5, according to Jessy Pearl, a Transportation Security Administration agent at O’Hare, the number of homeless people has increased.

Since there are fewer passengers, Ms. Pearl told the Chicago Tribune that there are more homeless people and that activity is centered around Terminal 2.

According to Block Club Chicago, Chicago recently received $US60 million ($A87 million) from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as a part of a $US315 million ($A457 million) funding package to fight homelessness.

The funds will be used to increase placement services.

The Chicago Mayor’s Office responded via email to The Post’s request for comment, stating that homeless encampments at airports are a “regular occurrence” throughout the winter.

The CDA is aware of the rising number of people living without shelter at O’Hare International Airport. When temperatures drop in the winter, it frequently happens at this airport and airports around the country.

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) of the City of Chicago and their delegated organizations continue to offer non-stop outreach to unsheltered persons at O’Hare. The statement stated that outreach workers interact with homeless people at O’Hare and conduct needs analyses.

Homeless people don’t usually accept help immediately, the Department of Family and Social Services added.

According to the agency, “homeless people occasionally refuse services, and outreach staff must engage them repeatedly before trust is developed and the clients are ready to accept assistance.”

Outreach is not enforcement, and DFSS will keep using trauma-informed, strengths-based strategies to address community needs.

According to the Chicago Police Department, it could not immediately offer details on calls made to the airport by the homeless or potential arrests.

About karen millions

I am an idealistic person who has always strived to make the world a better place. I grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where I majored in English with an emphasis on writing. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant for a think tank before landing my current position as an editor at a news website.In my spare time, I enjoy researching and writing about social issues that are important to me. My goal is to use my skills as a writer and editor to make a positive impact on the world.

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