Shriver Center Urges the City of Chicago to Take Critical Action to Protect Residents

These critical steps must be taken immediately to ensure the well-being of our most vulnerable and at-risk populations.

More than ever, we need to advocate for systemic change that ensures healthcare, paid sick time, access to secure shelter/housing, and support for the justice-involved.

Today, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law sent a letter to City of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recommending top priority strategies to ensure that all Chicago residents remain healthy and safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read our letter and full list of recommendations to the City of Chicago.

Our clients live in predominately disinvested communities, and have been long-time victims of discriminatory policies and practices that limited their opportunities and well-being even in the best of times. It is important to note that before COVID-19 many Black and Brown communities faced over-criminalization and policing; City Officials must be diligent to ensure that public health orders are not used to further criminalize and surveil marginalized communities.

Among our recommendations, we urge Mayor Lightfoot to:

  • Provide free access to COVID-19 testing and treatment at every point of medical access regardless of immigration status, income, or healthcare coverage;
  • Evaluate all policies and programs to ensure that they are available to homeless and undocumented individuals;
  • Require employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to all employees, including domestic workers and independent contractors;
  • Waive in-person contact requirements for city programs and services, including city-administered emergency healthcare, cash, food, and rental assistance;
  • Take steps to make housing available for individuals who are homeless and undocumented, and to ensure that victims of domestic violence have information and resources to obtain safe shelter;
  • Ensure that parents utilizing the Child Care Assistance Program can seamlessly obtain alternate care as their child care centers are shut down;
  • Be a welcoming city for justice-involved individuals who are at greater risk of exposure and support their immediate release from Cook County Jail and the Illinois Department of Corrections.

These critical steps must be taken immediately to ensure the well-being of our most vulnerable and at-risk populations. We stand ready to help our communities and Chicago in any way we can.

Read our letter and full list of recommendations to the City of Chicago.

Read about crisis advocacy the Shriver Center is undertaking on other fronts in the face of COVID-19/Coronavirus.

More Information

Shelter is not only a basic human need, it is also critical to people’s ability to pursue and attain economic stability.

Healthcare is a human right. The high cost of care means millions of families have no access to the critical care all human beings deserve.

Low-wage workers deserve jobs that enable them to balance work and family life while attaining economic stability.

America’s greatest strength is its diversity.

Contact with the police or criminal legal system can threaten the economic stability for individuals as well as entire families.

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