Shuttered Schools To Be Used As Temporary Shelters

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago Aldermen have given the okay for the city to use two shuttered schools for the homeless. 
 
The shelters could accomodate more than 500 people at the former Calumet High School at 8131 S. May St. in Auburn Gresham in the 21st Ward and the closed Young Women’s Leadership Academy at 2641 S. Calumet Ave. in Bronzeville in the 4th Ward. 
 
The plan now is for the shelters to be in operation until next March, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for an increase in homelessness might change that.
 
 
 
The shelters are expected to take some pressure off of other shelters.
 
Following steps taken by Mayor Lightfoot to spread out homelessness services at the beginning of the pandemic, the Department of Family and Support Services moved hundreds of beds into facilities operated by YMCA of Chicago and the Salvation Army. But that cost the city a great deal, which prompted the department to look for public buildings it can use instead.
 
According to Block Club Chicago, under the approved agreement, the city does not have to pay rent for the shuttered school spaces, but the department is faced with other costs, like installing showers and providing sheets and food. Officials are funding those services through Emergency Solutions Grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.