Public Trans Chronicles #3 (By G. Othello)

Public Transportation Chronicles
With Othello

There is a real problem in Chicago with homelessness. Take a walk through some of Chicago’s streets you will see someone taking shelter under a bridge, near a storefront, abandoned building, at bus shelters and on CTA trains.

Our CTA trains are a common shelter for some of Chicago’s homeless. I find one of the most common train lines that the homeless find shelter is the Redline. If you are familiar with that train you may agree that it is not a pleasant sight. If you’ve taken a Redline train; I am sure that you have witnessed lack of seating, the unpleasant smells, unsanitary conditions and some of the unpleasant sights from some of the homeless who take shelter on the trains. Some of the homeless who are on the trains show signs of mental illness. I have witnessed some of the homeless talking to themselves or shouting at other riders. I have seen riders get frightened to the point where they would get off the train to get on another car or wait for another train. I feel that this is unfair to the paying riders, it is unfair to the CTA employees who must clean and remove the homeless from the trains and it is not fair to the homeless.

Now I am not saying the homeless are bad people. They just need some help. We must keep in mind that anyone can experience homelessness regardless of race, gender, or age. While I do not know what contributed to their situation; there are several contributing factors to homelessness not only in Chicago, but in America. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless these factors are: Lack of affordable housing, poverty, lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, mental illness, and addiction. I think there is something each of us can do to help assist the homeless in our communities. I plan to find out ways that I can help by visiting I encourage you to do the same.

If you have any stories on how you have helped in your communities, please share them with us!
Stay tuned every Monday evening for a new public transit story. Trust me… there is always something happening on the CTA.

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Written by Othello of,

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