Homeless shelters must be handicap accessible

Today, many people who are homeless and in need of emergency shelter live with physical and mobility disabilities. All Chicago homeless shelters must be fully accessible to everyone, including people who use wheelchairs.

Currently, only a handful of Chicago homeless shelters can fully accommodate someone with physical and/or mobility disabilities. This often means that people living with physical or mobility disabilities wait longer for a shelter bed. In the cold weather months, the extra waiting time can affect your health and well-being.

Many older adults cannot climb onto a top bunk or climb steep stairs to a dining room. People who use wheelchairs need ramps to enter a building and elevators within a building. They require wheelchair accessible showers and accessible toilets.

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Chicago must be able to accommodate people living with physical and mobility disabilities in all current congregate emergency shelter settings. It’s time to remodel and upgrade all homeless shelters to be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Until that can happen, an ADA compliant hotel voucher program should be established for homeless individuals living with a physical or mobility disability.

The ADA requires the City of Chicago to provide equal access to the many benefits homeless shelters provide, including food, case management services, information, a place to sleep, security, and protection from homeless illnesses. climate.

Monica Dillon RN, NWS Homeless Outreach volunteer, Chicago

CTA Tips

Inspired by the recent push to reopen the former Racine Green Line CTA station, I was inspired to ask the transit agency to remove a nonessential Loop train station, LaSalle/Van Buren, and build a more useful Harrison Street station. between Adams/Wabash and Roosevelt stops. This change would benefit South Loop riders, specifically Orange and Green Line riders who rely on public transportation.

The LaSalle/Van Buren train station is adjacent to the Harold Washington Library State/Van Buren station. According to Google Maps, the distance between the two stations is approximately 600 feet. Many commuters traveling on multiple lines get on and off the train at the Harold Washington station, while only two to five people get off the train at LaSalle/Van Buren. Whether strolling the South Loop or driving, you can get past both stations in seconds. The closeness between two stations may or may not have been convenient for passengers in the past, but it seems outdated in today’s travel.

A new Harrison station between Adams/Wabash and Roosevelt would be convenient for commuters, especially those riding the Orange and Green lines. As a Jones College Prep student riding the Orange Line, I now have two options. I can walk two blocks to the Harold Washington Library, hop on the train, and go all the way around the Loop until I have a direct path to my stop. I can also walk four to five blocks south to Roosevelt and catch my train there. Both options can be tolerable in good weather. Yet as winter freezes us or the heat of summer melts us, even a block downtown can seem forever.

In addition to Jones College Prep students, Columbia College students and those staying at nearby hotels can benefit from this change in quick and efficient transportation.

Gianni Maldonado, Bridgeport