How do we know the Left’s so-called compassion for the downtrodden is a complete sham? Well, the following story is a pretty clear indication.
NBC 5 in Chicago reports that Greg Schiller, a Chicago man residing in the suburb of Elgin, had come up with a novel way of providing assistance to members of the area’s homeless population, but city regulations have put a stop to it for no good reason.
In dangerously cold weather, Schiller would offer people with nowhere else to go refuge in his basement, complete with food, cots, warm beverages, and and even movies (but no drugs or alcohol were permitted) — or “slumber parties,” as the experience came to be called. “I would stay up all night with them and give them coffee and stuff and feed them,” he explained.
Further conditions include only opening up his doors to the homeless when the wind child reached a certain dangerous point yet the city’s official emergency shelter was not in operation. “I’m trying to help these people get out of the cold,” he explained to NBC 5. “There’s not a lot of help for them as far as places to lay their heads,” and “It’s cold enough to freeze to death.”
This began sometime in December, and it seems to be working out just fine. It sounds like a model of compassion, doesn’t it? People who see a need rising to meet it with their own work, resources, and money is something everybody should be cheering. So what could possibly have gone wrong?
Schiller believed city code allowed for slumber parties, but officials said there are “sleeping regulations” for basements and Schiller’s basement doesn’t meet those requirements.
“While we appreciate those who volunteer to provide additional resources in the community, Mr. Schiller’s house does not comply with codes and regulations that guard against potential dangers such as carbon monoxide poisoning, inadequate light and ventilation, and insufficient exits in the event of a fire,” city spokesperson Molly Center said in a statement.
Schiller said city officials and police officers came to his home with a warrant Tuesday and went into his basement. There, he said they found his ceiling height too low and windows too high and too small to be an egress.
“They shut me down and said I have 24 hours to return my basement to storage and take down – I have several cots with sleeping bags for everybody – or they’ll condemn the house.”
Center confirmed that Schiller was given 24 hours to clear the basement in an emailed statement, adding, “If not, the City will take additional enforcement action to compel the removal of the unlawful basement sleeping area.”
Schilling has said that in the face of this threat he will stop hosting the slumber parties, but pledges that he is exploring alternative means of helping the homeless in his community.
This is insane. There is not one compelling justification cited here for why the city has any say over who’s invited into private property. The one potential pitfall that comes to mind is the possibility of Schilling being ill-equipped to identify or guard against potentially dangerous people, but last I checked there were no laws on the books regulating that sort of thing for anyone else. If the property really was in a condition that deserved to be condemned, then it should have been regardless of who is in the basement, but if it is fit to live in — as it apparently is — then it’s none of the city’s damn business what houseguests Schilling has.
It’s time for liberals to decide which is more important to them: caring for the poor or endless bureaucracy. What’s it gonna be?