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Authorities Tell Man He Can't Let Homeless People Sleep Over Anymore When Temperatures Are Frigid

One man from Chicago, Illinois went above and beyond the call of duty for homeless people in his neighborhood. Whenever temperatures would become freezing, he'd open his home to some of the local homeless for 'slumber parties' so they could get out of the life-threatening cold.

Authorities are threatening the man to stop doing this or they'll condemn his home.

Greg Schiller in Elgin has an unfinished basement and felt that the space could be put to good use. He filled the basement with cots and warm blankets.

When temperatures are below freezing in the winter, Schiller invites home the local homeless people who have nowhere to go. He calls it 'slumber parties'.

“I’m trying to help these people get out of the cold,” Schiller told NBC 5. “There’s not a lot of help for them as far as places to lay their heads.”

According to the homeowner, he wasn't trying to run a shelter.

He did try that once, but a man with a heart problem required him to call 911. The EMTs that came to take the man to the hospital reported the unlicensed shelter and authorities shut him down.

Now, Schiller sees it more as inviting guests for occasional visits. He only invites people when temperatures dropped to dangerously freezing levels, when other shelters were closed or turning people away.

He adds that some shelters have very strict criteria that some of the local homeless just don't meet.

City officials are furious about Schiller exploiting the loophole. They say he's running an illegal rooming house and is going against city cold.

Schiller's basement also doesn't meet the regulations for it to qualify as a bedroom where people can sleep.

“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,” said a spokesperson for the city.

“From the neighborhood services perspective, it is a concern — the safety of the occupants and for emergency services to get in if there is a problem. If they are sleeping down there and have propane heaters — that is not safe to have," said the department of neighborhood services director, Coby Basham.

"If it is knocked over at the base of the stair, there would be no way to get out."

Neighbors have been reporting that anywhere from 10 to 15 people have been sleeping over Schiller's house every night. If Schiller doesn't comply and empty his basement, he could face his home being condemned.

Schiller is furious with the action the city is taking.

"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... We are talking about people’s lives," he said.

“It’s cold enough to freeze to death,” he adds.

Schiller agreed to stop his slumber parties for now, but he's working to help the local homeless find another option.

Source: Oddity Central, NBC
Photo: Greg Schiller, YouTube

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