In recent weeks, the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago has transformed into a third-world nightmare that some have outright described as “dystopian” due to the flood of homeless people moving onto the airport grounds.
As reported by Breitbart, homeless encampments have sprung up and have been growing in the airport’s terminal areas from where flights depart and arrive. As a a result, concerns have arisen regarding the safety of travelers who now must navigate the homeless population on their way to and from their flights.
Multiple concerned travelers have shared pictures of the damage online, including hallways lined with trash and other poor conditions as a result of the homeless encroachment. In response, airport authorities tweeted that they “appreciate the feedback” and would continue to prioritize the “safety and security” of travelers.
Employees at the airport have voiced their fears about the homeless possibly being violent due to mental health issues. However, attempts to call the police have yielded no results, as the Chicago Police Department (CPD) has told them that such vagrants can only be removed if they assault someone first.
Jessica Dubuar, an activist with a homeless support group, tried to justify the vagrants moving into the airport due to the city’s homeless shelters being full.
“A lot of folks don’t end up at the airport because that’s their goal — that is the last option they have,” said Dubuar, a spokeswoman for the Haymarket Center. “Our January at O’Hare was one of the busiest Januarys we ever had. We are seeing more individuals and more encounters [who are] new to our system.”
In response to the crisis, the Chicago Department of Aviation released a statement claiming that the spike in vagrants at the airport is “a common occurrence at this airport and airports nationwide when temperatures drop in the winter months.”
“The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and their delegate agencies continue to provide 24/7 outreach to unsheltered residents at O’Hare,” the statement continued. “Outreach professionals engage with individuals experiencing homelessness at O’Hare and conduct needs assessments.”
The broader homeless crisis in Chicago has gotten exponentially worse over the last few years. The number of homeless people reported in the city last year was approximately 65,000, up dramatically from just 5,390 in 2020. The homeless issue has played a major role in Chicago’s upcoming mayoral race, where incumbent Democrat Lori Lightfoot is facing numerous challengers while her poll numbers plummet due to her poor handling of homelessness, crime, and other issues.