I found another homeless city down on Lower Wacker today.
This is the third cluster of homeless people I've found living down on Lower Wacker. This one runs right along the river. I counted about 20 bedrolls going along this wall, each holding multiple people. As you see, things are kept clean and tidy, for the most part.
Not only are there multiple homeless clusters under Chicago's Wacker Drive, individual bedrolls can be found throughout Lower Wacker as well. In my estimation, there are between 100 to 150 people currently living down here. This includes several mentally disabled folks, children, as well as one man who has no legs, and is in a wheelchair.
I've taken to looking after a gentleman named Phil. He's probably in his mid 50s, and definitely psychologically disabled. Below is Phil's bedroll. Many of the others living down here give Phil hell about his mess. Phil loves to play with matches, and any kind of rope. He'll spend hours untying knots. I've given him two coats and three hats already this season. Phil has a hard time keeping track of things... like, hats and coats. He says he's from Chicago, but other places too, like Argentina. Phil says he was down in Argentina looking for oil back in the 20s (he's not that old!).
The good thing is, Phil accepts help. Henry, on the other hand, just will not take anything other than food. The way the law is, folks like Phil and Henry can't be forced indoors, nor to accept help. If it gets real cold, Henry will be in serious trouble.
(Note: Names have been changed in order to maintain anonymity)
Map of Wacker Drive and Area Covered In This Post:
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Chuck Jines is an internationally published independent documentary photographer and photojournalist.
Chuck's passions center around the controversial questions concerning the nature of reality, the human mind, society, and current events. He covers news events, social events, and loves to share his social documentary photography of people, places, and things.
Chuck is also a writer and the publisher of the quarterly magazine, Gravis.
Chuck’s work has been published by prominent news publications such as the BBC, The Daily Mail, The Guardian (2), New York Mag, and the fine-art magazine, Corridor Elephant.
Chuck's video work has been used by ABC News/Rock'n Robin Productions special on Hurricane Katrina. Chuck has also provided fixing services for CNN's "This Is Life" with Lisa Ling, and has been invited to display his work at the Chicago History Museum.
As well, Chuck has given presentations of his work at Chicago State University, and at DePaul University College of Communication. Chuck's work on heroin has also been exhibited at the Gallery 7 in Joliet Il..