Wright College reportedly under consideration for use as a temporary housing shelter
by BRIAN NADIG
Wright College in the Portage Park community reportedly is being considered as a possible location for housing asylum seekers.
Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) said that the Office of Emergency Management has told him that Wright is being considered for use as a temporary shelter but that a final decision has not been made.
“We aren’t doing anything without a community meeting first,” said Sposato, who added that he first learned of the proposal late this week. He said he will only support the proposal if the community does.
Sposato said that he was told a portion of the campus would be used as a shelter from June to August but that he is concerned about what happens in August if the migrants are still living there. He said that he finds it difficult to believe they would be forced out or that the city would have alternative housing arrangements.
It is not clear how many people would be housed at Wright, 4300 N. Narragansett Ave., if the plan were to move forward.
A City Council committee earlier this week approved an allocation of $51 million in surplus funds for providing resources to the asylum seekers arriving in Chicago. Sposato and Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) were two of the three aldermen who voted against the allocation.
Recently Brands Park, 3259 N. Elston Ave., was turned into a temporary housing shelter, but plans to use the former South Shore High School as a shelter has faced opposition from some residents, including a group who filed a lawsuit to stop the plan.
On the Northwest Side, since Jan. 1 a total of about 200 migrants have been housed on a temporary basis at the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave. Earlier this week 21 people reportedly were sleeping in the station’s lobby.