Dozens of South American migrants seek temporary shelter at the Chicago Police 12th District station near Pilsen on May 9, 2023. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — The city is considering opening five new migrant shelters as it looks to address the continuing arrival of asylum seekers.

The new shelters would open in a mix of private facilities and public buildings. That includes the Broadway Armory Park in Edgewater and the Marine Corps Reserve Center in North Park, according to a memo sent to city alderpeople.

The potential new migrant shelter sites also include Taylor Park in Grand Boulevard, a building at 9059 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Burnside and a shuttered CVS building in Little Village’s 22nd Ward.

The potential migrant sites are included in a briefing document sent to city leaders ahead of Wednesday meeting of the city’s Immigrant and Refugee Rights Committee. It also comes as the city continues to struggle to house and provide basic services for thousands of asylum seekers brought to Chicago from border states like Texas.

The five proposed shelters would be able to house nearly 2,500 people, according to the memo. The biggest of the proposed shelters would be the Marine Corps site at 3034 W. Foster Ave. and the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway, which could hold 1,000 and 500 people, respectively.

Each site is at a different stage in consideration as a new migrant shelter.

The Marine Corps. center, for example, is “awaiting appraisal and environmental assessment,” according to the city document. The Cottage Grove Avenue building is being repaired with the earliest move-in anticipated for next month. The CVS facility is also scheduled to open next month.

Plans for reuse of the Broadway Armory and the South Side’s Taylor Park are being discussed with the area’s alderperson, according to the city document.

Plans to use the Broadway Armory as a shelter have not sat well with some neighbors and park users. The Park District facility, formerly a National Guard building, houses a senior center, teen programs, a theater space and circus arts school, among many other uses.

Park programming is continuing at the site for now with Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th) saying a community meeting will be held before any reuse of the facility.

Help Block Club Get
500 More Subscribers!

Subscribe to Block Club now and you’ll get a free 16-by-20-inch Chicago neighborhood print of your choice, helping us reach our goal of getting 500 more subscribers before 2024. Click here to subscribe or click here to gift a subscription.

Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast:

Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown ReporternnRogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown Reporter Twitter @jaydubward