We would first like to apologize for not bringing you into this situation earlier, as well as for the pain this situation has caused for everyone involved. As alluded to in last week's listening session, we wanted to update everyone regarding the ongoing efforts related to people experiencing houselessness. We are appreciative for everyone's patience as we continue our efforts which admittedly are outside our area of expertise. Needless to say, we still have a lot to learn about the complexities involved in this situation and are committed to learning and doing better as we move forward.
We have been working on specific actions we can take as a board that we feel will address the overarching concerns of everyone involved. This communication is to provide an update on the work we’ve done, knowing there is more work yet to do. Our primary focus is on addressing housing for our neighbors.
This week we were able to coordinate a site visit from a Heartland Alliance staff person with training and expertise in helping our unhoused neighbors secure permanent housing. Heartland Alliance was able to complete a housing assessment with the persons who are currently living in our parking lot. Sean Tenner, the 46th Ward Democratic Committeeman, was also present and shared with us his impression that this interaction seemed to go well.
Our contact at Heartland Alliance has some promising options to help our unhoused neighbors gain permanent housing. We are hopeful of this progress, but have also been advised the process could take 2-3 months to complete.
We have additional outreach that we are waiting to hear back from and are continuing to explore all options to provide a safe space for our neighbors.
We still have a lot to learn as a board. We know there are bigger issues at play here and that we need to address those as well. We are working on that too. We commit to using resources that have been shared with us to understand our role in making our community safe and caring for all of our neighbors.
We take this situation seriously and want to thank you for your patience as we take time to make thoughtful decisions in this process. We will continue to keep you informed as we have more substantive information to share.
The Board of Directors
Chicago Market – A Community Co-Op