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Uptown Men's Shelter Will Close If State Doesn't Pass Budget Soon

 The Board of Directors for the shelter at the People's Church voted to close the shelter Wednesday.
The Board of Directors for the shelter at the People's Church voted to close the shelter Wednesday.
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Courtesy of Facebook

UPTOWN — A 72-bed homeless shelter for men in Uptown will close its doors at the end of July due to the state budget impasse, forcing dozens of men to sleep on the streets of the neighborhood.

On Wednesday, the Board of Directors for the shelter at the People's Church, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., voted to close the shelter after the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services said it was unable "to process a contract" until a budget is passed, according to a press release from the shelter's Board of Directors.

"Until we know what is going to happen to the state budget we are not at this time processing the IDHS contracts," the City of Chicago told Richard Ducatenzeiler, Executive Director of North Side Housing and Supportive Services, according to the release.

According to the Sun-Times, lawmakers in Springfield have reached "tentative agreements with Gov. Bruce Rauner" and could pass a stopgap budget as soon as today, but it's unclear which programs would be funded through that budget. 

The shelter, which is run by the Interim Housing Program of North Side Housing and Supportive Services, was founded in 1983 and is open 365 days a year.

Over the past year, more than 320 different men have spent more than 18,000 nights at the facility. About $255,000 per year, or half of its budget, is provided through contracts with the Department of Family and Support Services.

"Our other programs are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies," Ducatenzeiler said. "We have no extra funding. Without the state funding for the shelter, we are forced to shut it down until replacement funds can be found," 

Without the funding the program will shut down on July 31.

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