The Crusader Newspaper Group

White House officials to join Pfleger’s homeless resource service event 

After months of marching and protesting, demanding that Congress approve enough funds to end homelessness in America, White House officials, along with city and state officials, will join Father Michael Pfleger on Thursday, May 23, at The Ark of St. Sabina, 7800 S. Racine, for a press conference to connect the homeless with affordable rental housing and support services. 

The increase in homelessness has been attributed to a shortage of housing, rising rents, and the end of pandemic programs, which prevented evictions, as well as the recent influx of migrants. 

Pfleger will be joined by co-host, the Great Lakes Region of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), All Chicago, an Accelerated Moving Event (AME), along with city, state and federal officials to help provide housing for the unhoused. 

 “Just because you haven’t heard anything from me doesn’t mean I have not been doing anything. I have been consistently working behind the scenes on this homeless issue,” Pfleger told his congregation on Sunday, May 19.  

“Anyone, Black, brown, who is homeless in Chicago can come to get serviced,” including being able to secure ID cards in the afternoon. 

For months Pfleger, who has faced opposition for taking on the homeless issue, has been working behind the scenes talking to members of the Democratic National Committee asking them to lend their support in demanding that Congress pass sufficient funds to end homelessness in America. 

He and supporters even marched outside the Union League Club of Chicago where DNC members were meeting. Pfleger has threatened to shut down the Democratic National Convention, which will be held August 19-22 at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. 

Following the press conference, Pfleger and his partners are holding a resource fair to help the homeless find a home along with supportive services. He will be joined by Homeless Chief Sendy Soto of the Mayor’s Office; Christine Haley, State of Illinois; Jeff Olivet, executive director, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and Robert Gordon, deputy director, Domestic Policy Council, White House.   

According to HUD officials, it takes nearly $20 billion dollars to end homelessness in America, but until that legislation is passed, Pfleger has adopted dozens of migrants, including Blacks, providing some with apartments, job training and free medical checkups thanks to his partnering with Northwestern Hospital. 

To further assist migrants and others who are homeless in Auburn Gresham, Pfleger announced that beginning in June he is changing the days he distributes essential items like gifts and bus cards, food and clothing, from Sundays to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Explaining why he changed Sunday’s distribution day, he said it is to provide service to migrants who stay at the Pacific Garden Mission. “Those staying there are forced to go to their (Sunday church) services, which conflicts with the time he gives migrants essential products at St. Sabina. 

“I don’t think we should be forcing people to go to service in order to get something. I don’t want to practice that here,” he told his congregation.  

Pfleger said he doesn’t believe in forcing migrants to attend church at St. Sabina just to get the essentials they need to survive.      

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