While the 50-plus inches of snow we may receive will inconvenience a lot of us and perhaps drain the city’s snow removal coffers, if you live on the street, the freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions won’t be just another snow day. They’re life-threatening.
The 2012 budget passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this yearcuts funding for homeless prevention services by 52 percent, eliminating $4.7 million for shelters, emergency housing and transportation. Homeless advocates are fighting for that funding to be restored, but neither party seems optimistic about that happening.
Numbers from theChicago Coalition for the Homeless indicate that more people were turned away from homeless services last year than were taken in. That’s 45,673 turn-aways compared with 40,542 intakes. It’s a phenomenon sweeping communities throughout the region.