chicago suburb to declare emergency after churches take in migrants
Amid the migrant crisis in Chicago in the United States, the Village of Oak Park has taken a step to help migrants. Chicago Suburb might soon declare an emergency after Churches in Oak Park – a village in Cook County, Illinois, adjacent to Chicago – has taken more than 100 asylum seekers.
More than 100 migrants were moved from the streets of Chicago to indoor shelters in Oak Park on Wednesday. The Village of Oak Park passed an emergency declaration and provided emergency shelter to migrants staying at Chicago’s Austin District police station.
Since August 2022, more than 20,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago. Many migrants have ended up at the Austin District station because the city is unable to provide housing to all the migrants. Migrants’ health in Chicago also suffered due to lack of health care. As migrants continue to arrive in Chicago, the city has been struggling to provide adequate healthcare to them.
Oak Park takes emergency action
Amid the crisis, Oak Park has taken an emergency action. Oak park gave shelter to 125 migrants. Many migrants moved to an emergency shelter at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park.
Francis Ramirez Gonzalez, one of the Venezuelan migrants, said, “The cold was horrible; we were dying of cold.” Francis Ramirez Gonzalez thanked Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for providing shelter to homeless migrants.
Francis Ramirez Gonzalez, her husband and their twin 7-year-olds had been staying in a tent outside the police station since August. They had been suffering due to the crisis. She said, “We were praying to God to protect us, and thank God someone with a great heart arrived who could help.”
Oak Park had approved $150,000 to create an emergency task force in order to tackle the migrant crisis. More migrant families had moved to the Chicago suburb, enrolled in schools. They had been using local emergency services. Migrants in Chicago were also seeking jobs to live their lives in the city.
Oak Park village trustees passed an emergency declaration, providing manager Kevin Jackson the spending authority to address needs for the growing number of migrants. The declaration will be reviewed on December 4.