Is Chicago Serious About Ending Homelessness?
"Is Chicago Mayor Richard Daley really serious about his pledge to rid the Windy City of homelessness by 2012?
"When Daley first announced the plan back in January of 2003, it seemed laudable enough, if unrealistic: to ensure that by 2012, not a single man, woman or child will be left abandoned on the city streets. No more nightly shelters that have been a staple across the country. Less transitional housing that merely puts a band-aid on addictions, psychological disorders or financial disarray. No more overcrowded shelters. No more inundated health clinics."
"At almost the midway point of his timetable, however, many observers say Daley's plan is a pretty vision - of a city dressed up with flowers and new parks and without a man or woman or kid in need - but lacks a workable way to fulfill it. "The city hasn't pledged its own wallet and that pretty much makes it impossible," says Julie Dworkin, policy director at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Although $150 million was invested in the cause last year, and some $400 million has been pledged since the plan became public in 2003, critics point out there is no fixed price tag on Daley's plan. "Let's just say the number would most likely be in the billions, and not the millions," Dworkin said."