Chicago, IL

Nearly 200 Migrants Moved Into Greektown Hostel in Chicago Despite Alderman Knowing Nothing About It

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Chicago Ald. Bill Conway Expresses Surprise as City Moves 200 Migrant Residents Into His Ward
Chicago's Ald. Bill Conway (34th Ward)Photo bySuburban Chicagoland [CC BY 4.0]

Nearly 200 migrants have moved into a hostel located in Greektown, Chicago, in an effort by the city to provide shelter for those seeking refuge. This initiative comes as part of ongoing efforts to address the humanitarian aspects of migration.

Over 100 migrants who were single men moved into Parthenon Guest House, at 310 S. Halsted St on Friday with another 96 or so moving in on Saturday. The move aims to provide temporary housing and support to those in need, aligning with Chicago's commitment to welcoming diverse communities.

Alderman Bill Conway, who represents the ward encompassing Greektown, expressed his surprise regarding the sudden influx of migrants into the neighborhood. Conway was evidently aware of the city's proposal to house nearly 200 migrants at the guesthouse but believed the initiative to still be under consideration. He had not been informed that it had been finalized. Officials said that backgroung checks will not be carried out on the migrants but there will be more security measures including security guards posted 24/7.

This unexpected development has sparked discussions among local officials about the coordination of such initiatives.

“I’m committed to doing this in a safe and secure way," Conway said. “We in the community, we want to help.”

However, Conway stated he had hoped for more collaboration following an attempt to contact Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson's office to gain information about the move and receiving no reply.

“I've not been shy about my frustration with the lack of detail and short notice I was given on this plan by the Mayor’s office,” Conway said.

The alderman added that he had asked if migrants living at Greektown's police district could move into the hostel but said the request was refused.

“I still don’t have clarity on that, I had asked people to come from the 12th District, which is the police district where Greektown is located, that request was denied so I still don’t know where the people are coming from," Conway said. “The guesthouse holds 136 people, and they’ve already brought in 190."

Some longtime residents of Greektown are displeased that the city is working so hard to help migrants when other problems have gone unaddressed for a long time.

“I think the city has bigger problems frankly," said Brian Rosi, a 13 year resident of Greektown. “As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I’m more concerned about crime and stepping outside and getting carjacked.”

“If the state can come up with $52 million to home and house them, they can come up with $52 million to home or house our homeless population," another resident, Arzette James-Wallace, said.

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Chicago, IL

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