Statement on Shelter Exit Reporting Ordinance

Public statement on teal background with loudspeaker graphic and logo of Ald. Vasquez


April 18, 2024

Yesterday SO2024-0008386, which I introduced in March, passed the full City Council and was adopted into law. This ordinance directs the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to provide City Council daily reports of New Arrivals and Asylum Seekers that have been evicted or removed from city-operated shelters.

I want to thank the Immigrant and Refugee Rights committee members and the City Council for supporting this important ordinance to increase transparency and accountability. This measure is the first step in understanding both the impact of the 60-Day Shelter Policy, as well as the characteristics of those that have been and will be removed from shelters as a result, so that community organizations that will inevitably fill the gap can be prepared with resources to support them. 

What is not measured cannot be managed, and I strongly believe that the city must commit to building data frameworks and collection standards that will allow us to track the city’s efforts and their human impact––even and especially in a crisis situation like this one. There are so many government entities, community organizations, and vendors working in silos within the New Arrivals Mission. Tracking good data across these disparate systems will help us gain a full story of what happens to new arrivals, so we can better understand what they are going through, the barriers they are facing, and how we as a city can support their path to self-sufficiency. 

I want to reiterate that I oppose shelter evictions. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: the city should not be in the business of evicting people. Removing people from shelters doesn’t solve anything; it merely exacerbates the problem by creating even more unhoused people. As of today, 163 new arrivals have been evicted from shelters following the implementation of this policy. The City has no way of telling where they have gone, or connecting them with the resources they need. This is something that should concern all of us, especially considering that we will likely see an increase in migrants being bussed to Chicago ahead of the DNC in August.

To avoid irresponsibly and irreparably increasing the population of unhoused people in our city, we must act now. To that end, I have introduced an ordinance, which if passed, would stay all evictions stemming from the 60-day policy. I hope that my fellow alders, community organizations, and members of the public will join me in calling for City Council to support this legislation.

Yours in Service and Community,

Signature of Andre Vasquez

Andre Vasquez

Chair, Committee on Immigrant & Refugee Rights