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Chicago leaders host public meeting to answer migrant housing questions

Chicago leaders host public meeting to answer migrant housing questions
Chicago leaders host public meeting to answer migrant housing questions 02:31

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The number of migrants coming to Chicago continues to grow with five more buses expected on Monday. 

There are more than 9,600 migrants living in city shelters and, almost 3,000 more waiting for housing.

The city's latest temporary shelter is set to open in Pilsen.

CBS 2's Shardaa reports from Benito Juarez High School where a community meeting is focused on a housing plan.      

Leaders in Chicago hold meeting in Pilsen discussing migrant housing 02:08

One of the biggest questions right now is where to house the migrants, especially as more continue to arrive in Chicago.

CBS 2 spoke with Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) before the meeting where they'll talk about two shelters. One for migrants and one to address homelessness.

For days, hundreds of migrants have been dropped off in the South Loop. Many volunteers are stretched thin with helping the asylum seekers.

"Pilsen, Little Village has been a port of entry for immigrants for generations. We do not think it's acceptable to allow children. I don't think any parent will be okay with having children in tents in the Chicago winter," said Sigcho-Lopez.

He and other city leaders will meet with residents in Pilsen at Benito Juarez High School.

As CBS 2 reported last week, there's a plan to turn a warehouse at 22nd and Halsted into a temporary shelter for migrants.

"I think the first phase will be at least 400 people for the location at 2241 South Halsted," he said.

But they'll also plan to house other Chicagoans who are struggling with homelessness.

"About 250 to 300 people at another location at 24th and Western. The city is thinking about all of the residents," said Sigcho-Lopez.

RELATED: Gov. Pritzker calls on President Biden to increase federal support for migrants

The city releasing new numbers on the situation. Chicago has received more than 17 thousand migrants.

More than 9,600 are staying in city shelters. More than 2,300 are staying at police stations and over 600 at O'Hare.

"This is a humanitarian need given that we have children right now at police stations. Many children already have chronic bronchitis. They have complications at birth from mothers, who had to give birth in inhumane conditions," said Sigcho-Lopez.

Now with no word on new locations for possible tent camps, city leaders point to the state. More than 2,900 are in the city waiting for placement.

The city is running 21 shelters at the moment. The state is not running any.

The city said it received $41 million to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, but they said that's not enough money to take care of everyone coming here.

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