Migrants arriving to Chicago
May 22, 2023

Activating to Welcome New Arrivals to Our Community

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago always strives to meet the needs of our community, especially, as it continues to grow. 

In late August of 2022, hundreds of individuals and families seeking asylum were transported to Chicago from southern U.S. states. The Y mobilized during this humanitarian emergency, joining the City of Chicago and dozens of civic and nonprofit organizations to provide essential care and services to our new arrivals. 

As people seeking asylum enter Chicago, their needs are assessed and addressed by trained staff from city agencies and human service providers. Many of our new neighbors arrived without previously established access to food, clothing, shelter, or other resources. 

We are honored that the City of Chicago trusted the Y to provide a safe space for our new arrivals by asking for our assistance in welcoming and providing shelter for these individuals beginning mid-September. 

As part of this effort, the High Ridge YMCA facility, which was originally closed in January 2021, found a new purpose. It now serves as a sheltering service for single men and women, providing access to showers, food, internet, and other essential services during their stay at the facility.

Located in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood on the city’s far north side, the High Ridge Y shares a home with a vibrant and diverse immigrant population and was the perfect choice to host our new arrivals. Working in conjunction with many local organizations focused on acclimating newcomers to the West Ridge and surrounding area, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago cultivated a safe and welcoming space for nearly 800 people in 2022. We look forward to continuing to provide essential resources by keeping our doors open for the duration of the humanitarian emergency.

At the Y, we’re constantly committed to strengthening our community by connecting all people to their purpose, potential and each other. Providing our new neighbors with the resources and safe space they need is vital to fulfilling our mission.