(Natural News) Photos and videos showing massive homeless encampments at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago have caused an uproar among Chicagoans.
Passengers were quick to take pictures and videos of the deteriorating situation at the airport and post them on social media. These photos and videos show thousands of people seeking refuge at the airport, with many setting up shelters inside terminal buildings. (Related: More people are rapidly leaving crime-ridden, high-cost cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago.)
One photo that went viral showed a group of homeless people sleeping among their belongings near Terminal 1 of the airport. Another photo shows one man slumped inside an entrance vestibule, and another shows a group of about half a dozen homeless people who have occupied an indoor area next to an escalator.
“I flew back to O’Hare, Terminal 3, last week. I had never seen such a homeless problem, in baggage, in the 50 years I have lived in Cook County,” wrote one Chicago native. “It’s not even that cold out … It was dystopian.”
As a secure location, O’Hare does not allow members of the public to stay inside airport property unless they are flying in or out or are employees working there. Unfortunately, this has not stopped Chicago’s homeless population from seeking shelter there.
Jessica Dubuar, director of specialty programs and services for Haymarket Center, an outreach organization for homeless people, noted that the number of people seeking shelter at O’Hare always increases in the winter months. But this year, the increase has been exceptionally higher.
Haymarket Center’s outreach program for the homeless at O’Hare has served 618 homeless people in 2022 – up 58 percent from 2021, when it served 431.
Mayor Lightfoot vows to remove homeless from O’Hare following uproar
Once the pictures and videos of the homeless encampments in O’Hare drew national attention and criticism, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot immediately vowed to do everything she can to remove the homeless people from the airport, calling it a safety issue.
In remarks to reporters on Thursday, Feb. 16, Lightfoot acknowledged the seriousness of the problem while at the same time arguing that news reports about the situation in O’Hare had blown the issue out of proportion.
“The fact of the matter is, we have taken and will continue to take the steps that are necessary to move the people out of the airports,” she said. “The airports are a very different place than on the street, under an underpass. It’s a secure location, and the message is clear from me to the Department of Aviation, the Police Department up there.”
“We absolutely, fundamentally, cannot have people sleeping in our airports who are homeless. That is unacceptable,” she continued. “We are going to continue, within the bounds of the law, to do what is necessary to provide those folks with support but elsewhere. They can’t be in our airports.”
Learn more about the state of America and its cities at Chaos.news.
Watch this clip from Newsmax discussing how Chicago is in “a crisis situation.”
This video is from the News Clips channel on Brighteon.com.
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