Illinois Housing Committee looks into homelessness across the state

Provider Neli Vazquez of A Safe Haven said the pandemic gives everyone a chance to learn. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – As if there is a good time to be homeless, another pandemic winter is unlikely to help. 

During a virtual meeting Tuesday of the Illinois House Housing Committee.

What Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago) said was, no pun intended, chilling.

“I have major concerns that the diminished emergency shelter capacity is a huge problem,” she said, “and people are going to die this winter.”

LaPointe and other lawmakers on the Illinois House Housing Committee heard that “housing is health care” – and that there’s a direct relationship between poor health and homelessness.

Provider Neli Vazquez of A Safe Haven said the pandemic gives everyone a chance to learn.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine the delivery system,” she said. “I think there have been a lot of setbacks, and we have not been prioritized in terms of being part of the critical infrastructure.”

People in the field say permanent supportive housing is the way out.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


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