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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Logan Square’s ‘Sausage Lady’ Is Struggling After An Eviction. Here’s How You Can Help

Katrina Scimone, who has sold Polish sausages outside of Milwaukee Avenue bars for years, was evicted last week. She hopes donations from neighbors will help rebuild her life.

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LOGAN SQUARE — A street vendor who has fed Logan Square revelers for years is turning to the community for help after hardships that have left her and her daughter homeless.

Katrina Scimone is known as the “Logan Square sausage lady” for selling Polish sausages and steak sandwiches outside of Slippery Slope, 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave., and other bars along Milwaukee Avenue.

Scimone, 46, posts up outside of nightlife spots with a Weber grill, taking after her mother, who for years ran a similar business in Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.

But Scimone has fallen on hard times over the past few weeks.

Scimone said she and her 9-year-old daughter, Juliana, were evicted from their mobile home in suburban Justice the Friday before Christmas after struggling to pay the monthly lot fee of $1,000.

With nowhere to go and very little money, they’ve been sleeping in their car and in motels, Scimone said.

Scimone launched a GoFundMe earlier this week, hoping to scrape together enough donated funds — about $4,000 — to move her mobile home to a new lot that is less costly.

“Right now, I need help,” Scimone said. “I don’t want my daughter to be on the street. … It’s my little girl — I want her to have a normal home.”

Credit: Provided
Lines down the block for Katrina Scimone’s grilled meat.

Scimone said she’s eager to reunite with her customers and neighbors, who have always shown her support, even when police officers have tried to make her leave the Logan Square spot.

Scimone has a food handler’s license, but vendors are not permitted to prepare food at home or on the street under city rules.

“The cops say they’re going to take my inventory, give me a ticket, they’re going to lock me up,” she said. “I’m serving food to people who are drinking. I’m not dealing drugs. I’m just trying to make an honest living.”

Like many street vendors, Scimone struggled during the early days of the pandemic with bars shut down. But after the city reopened, business picked up to the point where Scimone was able to save up enough money to buy a mobile home, she said.

Vending has been a lifeline for Scimone, a native Chicagoan who has struggled financially for years.

“I love Logan Square, everyone knows me,” she said. “I’ve had petitions with 3,000 signatures when I had issues with the police. They support me more than family. They are my family. They’ll call me and look out for me. I feel bad when I can’t get out there.”

Credit: Provided
Katrina Scimone serves polish sausages, steak sandwiches and jerk chicken sandwiches outside of Milwaukee Avenue bars.

Scimone and her daughter are currently living out of a motel in Romeoville with help from a friend, but the arrangement will only last for so long, Scimone said.

Scimone said she hopes the community will step up and donate so she can get back to doing what she loves.

“They supported me all these years, and I love them all. People say, ‘I don’t know what I would do without you,’ well I mean it, I don’t know what I would do without them,” Scimone said. “I’m just going through a very hard time, and I’m asking for help. It’s from my heart.”

To donate, go here.

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