Elgin, IL

Elgin's Homeless Population on the Decline

Sherry McGuinn

That's not necessarily good news as evictions are on the upswing

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Although I've lived in Elgin for twenty years, I'm ashamed to admit I haven't done as much exploring of this old city as I should.

Case in point: I never realized that Elgin had a significant homeless population until reading in The Daily Herald, that the number of citizens without shelter has declined. Proof of how insular we've become as a society.

I also didn't know that Carlton Rogers Park, at 75 N. Spring Street is where many of the homeless gather. Thankfully, the Elgin Police Department has taken a compassionate approach to these unfortunate folks in that, if no one disturbs the peace or litters or displays any behavior that may be considered "aggressive toward others," they can stay in the park for as long as they need to.

Currently, there is an officer stationed in the downtown area to ensure that these mandates are enforced.

However, that said, because the "eviction moratorium" due to Covid-19 ended in May, the unfortunate reality is that more people will become homeless and it will be up to the city to see that their needs are met.

If you'd like to help, please keep in mind that the Elgin PD asks that residents DO NOT drop off donations at the park. If you have food, clothing, and other items for donation, please drop them off at Wayside Cross Ministries at 453 Fremont Street.

Adhering to this policy will ensure that donations will get to those who need them and will be fairly distributed, as opposed to creating a "free-for-all," where people either battle over donations or take what they want and throw the rest out.

As a community united, we can help those who need it but we must follow protocol to ensure that those who need assistance the most, receive it.

Thank you for reading.

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