Although the shelter had surpassed its capacity more than trifold, the man was quickly welcomed inside. He spent the night Tuesday feeling warm and well-fed along with around 800 other homeless men, women and children who sought refuge at the shelter, which is the largest in the city.
Pacific Garden’s president, Philip Kwiatkowski, said the man had been trying to navigate the icy sidewalks in his wheelchair and somehow made his way to the shelter on his own.
“He showed up with nowhere to go and we took him in,” Kwiatowski said.
Usually Pacific Gardens houses people for up to 30 days while they ease them back into society with support finding a job and getting access to other resources needed to sustain independence.
But this week, those rules were tossed aside and anyone was welcomed inside–no questions asked.
If you want to help Chicago’s homeless, Pacific Gardens needs coats, hats, gloves and mittens and is accepting donations. The shelter is located at 1458 S. Canal St.