(Photo: Never underestimate the power of compassionate thinking.)
Yesterday, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless announced on its blog that the organization will “track any efforts to crack down on homeless people riding the CTA.” The statement highlighted and was in direct response to my recent opinion pieces here and on Huffington Post Chicago decrying recently installed Chicago Transit Authority signage barring “continuous riding” that the agency appears intent on applying only to homeless riders.
On Tuesday, I reported on a slew of local and national blog and media coverage generated by my original post. I’m even more thrilled at the Coalition’s response–as I write this post in the wee early hours of Thanksgiving morning, I literally have tears in my eyes to know that my pang of horror at clueing in to the CTA’s intentions has translated into increased oversight by Chicago’s leading homeless advocacy organization.
I remain steadfast in my contention that Chicago’s homeless, whether riding the CTA or not, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Such treatment definitely does not include being ejected from the rail system in far-flung corners of Chicago during zero-degree Windy City winters by an agency not seeming to care whether these less fortunate citizens have the means to find their way back to warmth and shelter.
I am grateful for the Coalition’s Thanksgiving gift, and I fully intend to continue highlighting this issue in every venue available to me until the CTA comes to its senses. (And regular readers are well aware, I’m just the grassroots communications strategist to do it, too!)
I have a Thanksgiving present to give as well. That will be welcoming six dear friends to my postage-stamp Marina City studio later today–Thanksgiving orphans, the lot of us–for a from-scratch feast to celebrate the good that we are lucky enough to have in our lives. Friendship. Health. Abundance. Spirit.
And most importantly, home. Happy Thanksgiving Chicago, wherever you may be sleeping tonight…
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.