Tent City Residents Hope City's Cleaning Is Not An Eviction Notice

Rob Hart
February 25, 2019 - 1:13 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Rob Hart

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- People who live in the Tent City, along the Dan Ryan Expressway, in the South Loop hope Monday's cleaning is not an eviction notice.

The City of Chicago and the Department of Family and Support Services said crews were on hand to remove garbage and to provide assistance to whoever requests it.

The Tent City, located on Des Plaines between Taylor and Roosevelt and is home to about 20 to 30 people. In the past month, the block long patch of tents, has seen a fire from a propane heater and a deadly shooting.

Jermaine Nelson lives in the tent city and hopes the visit is not an eviction notice.

"We are hoping that the state has only brought the equipment over here to help us, as they have done in previous times," he said.

Workers from the City's Department of Family and Support Services performed assessments. 

Resident Donald Gorocheko did not think much of their work.

"My opinion is they are vultures. Real vultures, henchmen for the politicians and Mayor. They do absolutely nothing. They sweep, they scoop, they dump. And they are supposed to be here to help us," he said.

Nelson added that they need more than just food and directions to a shelter, they want access to affordable housing. 

"We are still citizens of the City of Chicago. We are citizens of the State of Illinois. Of the United States of America. We are aware. We understand what's going on. We need the people to see what's going on," Nelson said.

"They can do what they can.  But there are so many people, here so many needs, so many personalities.  We cannot expect the Pacific Garden Mission to aid everybody on the south end of the Loop," Nelson said.

"What we need is housing. People need housing. We don't need to be pacified."