CHICAGO — A new video shows the belongings of man living near a Hyde Park viaduct being thrown out by city workers as police and the man watch.
The video, which was posted to Facebook, shows Streets and Sanitation workers throwing out the man’s belongings as officers from the Chicago, Metra and University of Chicago police departments monitor what’s happening.
“The City of Chicago conducts cleanings under viaducts and along parkways to protect the health and safety of residents, while respecting the rights of homeless populations in the area,” a Streets and Sanitation spokeswoman said in a statement.
The underpass was cleaned “following complaints from local residents and students,” according to Streets and Sanitation, and the Department of Family and Support Services first “provided on-site outreach” to homeless residents.
A University of Chicago spokesman said Chicago Police was the lead agency at the scene and university officers were called in to assist. Chicago Police did not immediately return requests for comment.
“They finally decided to evict the gentleman who’s been living by the Metra on 57th Street for the last, I don’t know, six months, maybe,” the person recording the video says. “… Lord knows you wouldn’t want to give him the opportunity to actually, like, find another place.”
During the video, the narrator says she tried to help but was not allowed to.
The man has lived near the station for several months and regularly sweeps up the area with a broom, according to the person who posted the video. The video shows workers throwing out several brooms.
“… What was amazing was that he’d basically constructed a whole apartment under the viaduct. Kitchen, bedroom, living area. All kept immaculately,” the poster wrote in a comment. “He had a chess set out. They threw pretty much all that away. He’s left with just some blankets it looked like.”
Homeless residents who are present during cleanups are typically allowed to keep their belongings, and Streets and Sanitation usually gives a week’s notice of a coming cleaning if the department thinks it will impact people who are homeless.