November 6, 2023

Crain’s Reports on Expectations of Winter for Migrants

Crain’s reports on the potential public health crisis from the lack of shelter for asylum seekers this winter.

As Chicagoans prepare for the upcoming season and the notorious winter frosts in our city, Crain’s Chicago Business writes about expectations for the over 11,000 migrants at temporary shelters and the more than 3,000 more awaiting shelter at police precincts.

As “providers are worried about incidents of frostbite, which could lead to hospitalizations, and a worsening respiratory illness surge,” CommunityHealth is once again on the front line providing free vaccines to asylum seekers at the precincts.

However, even with the tireless support of community organizations like CommunityHealth, relief networks advocate for appropriate shelter space considering that “while living in crowded police stations, sick migrants also usually don’t have room to isolate and prevent infecting others. And once sick, migrants, and especially children, lacking adequate shelter may struggle to recover from respiratory illnesses.”

“We need to get people indoors. We need to get people coats. We need to get people hats. We need to keep people warm and safe.” – Stephanie Willding, MPA (Chief Executive Officer of CommunityHealth)

As the city prepares “weatherized basecamps” to meet demands, community groups focus on supporting lapses in the safety net through securing winter clothing, supplies, and more.