You don’t need to worry about Sam Brinton taking your luggage. Unfortunately, if Chicago is your destination, you might have to run to baggage claim to stop someone from stealing your luggage. Add to the woes of Chicago, homeless people have begun setting up camp at O’Hare International Airport. This way, you can have a horrible experience with Lori Lightfoot’s administration as well as the classic blue-city vibe as soon as your Uber driver arrives.
Daily Mail reports that thousands of homeless people have moved into the terminals, not around the airport. People sleeping in the baggage have been photographed. Another photo showed a man lying on his stomach in a terminal entry. There were six other people “homesteading” by using an escalator. Another showed a homeless man sleeping on one of the trams between terminals. O’Hare’s response? “We appreciate your feedback. We appreciate your feedback. Safety, security, and an excellent passenger experience are top priorities for the CDA. We have passed your message on to our security team. We are sorry for the inconvenience and we hope that your next trip to ORD will be more enjoyable.
One airport employee told CBS Chicago that he is concerned about their safety. Last night, this one man followed us. They will be there from the moment we arrive until the time that we leave the next morning.” Another man said that the situation was out of control. “They tell us to be cautious because it’s not in their hands like they can do nothing.”
The Chicago Tribune used “nighttime refuge” to describe the situation. Jessica Dubuar from Haymarket Center’s health and specialty services said that there is no new trend in camping at airports and that O’Hare’s population has increased its use of public transit passes. Advocates point out that shelters have decreased the number of beds since the pandemic, and are now overwhelmed. People who move to the city from elsewhere may not be able to find a place to stay.
The following statement was issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation:
The CDA is aware that O’Hare International Airport has an increasing number of homeless people. This is a very common occurrence at O’Hare International Airport and other airports across the country when the temperatures drop in winter. The Department of Family and Support Services and delegate agencies continue to offer 24/7 outreach to O’Hare’s homeless residents. Outreach professionals work with O’Hare residents who are experiencing homelessness and perform needs assessments. Outreach professionals will connect the person with shelters and services, as well as transportation if they accept help. The CDA is committed to continuing to work with its partners at Chicago Fire Department (CFD), and Chicago Police Department (CPD), as well as other community-based and government organizations, to help those in need and connect them to available resources in Chicago.
There are also outreach programs available that will help anyone who wants it. Here’s the problem. Let us help if a person decides to get help. If the person decides to live a life that is independent of aid, then why shouldn’t others support that decision? Is it fair to make someone feel unsafe for going to work or showing up on time for a flight?
That is progressive policy. You can do what you want. You will be the one to pay.