WBBM News Radio: New homeless shelter for young adults opens on West Side
Updated: Jun 21
CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Leaders of Covenant House Illinois held a ribbon- By Nancy Harty May 6, 2022 3:42 pm
CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Leaders of Covenant House Illinois held a ribbon-cutting Friday morning for their new homeless shelter for young adults on Chicago’s west side. Executive Director Susan Reyna-Guerrero said it’s hard to accurately quantify the problem, but they believe there are 3,000 18 to 24-year-olds homeless in Chicago any given night.
"This is not just a campus. We've created a place that is full of welcome and acceptance and it's a world of possibilities for young people who have been experiencing homelessness and trafficking," she said. The charity has provided more than 15,000 nights of shelter, as well as health care, job training and legal aid since it opened in Chicago five years ago. The 40 bed-shelter opened at Lake Street and Sacramento Boulevard in October and currently has about 17 young adults staying here.
The charity said it needs more staff to accommodate more guests. 27th ward Alderman Walter Burnett told the crowd of politicians, donors and staffers about how he was homeless at points in his life and that many residents and former elected officials fought him on bringing the shelter to East Garfield Park. "I had residents who did not want this here-literally did not want this here- humiliated me, talked about me...all kinds of things."
Current resident Shauwnique sang for the group during the pitch to raise the last three million of an $11.5 million campaign. Senator Dick Durbin told the crowd the charity will be getting some federal funding.