Residents, staff and neighbors of an Uptown shelter, scheduled to close just before Christmas, protested in front of the People’s Church on Monday to call on state legislators to pass a budget when they return to Springfield next week.
The shelter is operated by North Side Housing and Supportive Services and is housed by the church, 941 W. Lawrence Ave. It has 72 beds and serves single men, like Stanley Weatherspoon, who came to the shelter after he was no longer able to afford his rent.
“It’s inhumane to send people out on the streets right as winter arrives,” Weatherspoon said, referring to the planned Dec. 23 closing date. “We need Governor [Bruce] Rauner and the legislators to make the big corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share so that we can keep these shelters open.”
* But they’re pinning their hopes on an impossible dream…
The speakers at the protest support an amendment to House Bill 293, sponsored by Rep. Will Davis, which was filed in Springfield last week. According to estimates, this amendment would raise $2.5 billion by closing corporate tax loopholes. It would also enact a progressive income tax and a [LaSalle] street tax for a total revenue increase of $23.5 billion.
The General Assembly couldn’t (and wouldn’t) pass that stuff when they had veto-proof Democratic majorities and a Democratic governor.