Sandy Ramsey, Executive Director, Cornerstone Community Outreach - Chicago, IL
There are men and women who end up sleeping outside on the ground, sometimes because there’s no room in the area shelters and sometimes by choice, due to mental health or just not wanting to be closed in. Our staff works tirelessly to get them on housing lists, into counseling services and hooked up with medical care. I affectionately call these people: The Alley Cats.
If you drive down a darkened alley to the back of the tire store, you will find any number of homeless men and women sleeping on the cement loading dock. Or if you drive under the elevated CTA tracks in the parking lot behind Aldis, you will find a few people tucked into corners preparing to sleep for the night. Then there is the park along the lake. Sometimes you will see people under bushes, sometimes they are sleeping right out in the open. These are the places where you will find the wonderful plastic mats.