When and how can you help the homeless during this very cold time?

Well apparently in a city outside of Chicago your home could be condemned if you attempt to help the homeless not freeze to death.

An NBC Affiliate in Chicago is reporting about a suburban Chicago man who was offering his basement for what he called “slumber parties” during this very cold period.

He first started helping the homeless last winter when he offered his garage to the homeless and then the city shut him down.  This resident then moved the homeless to his basement and the city once again has informed him to stop his “slumber parties” or his home will be condemned.

In his basement he offered the homeless a cot, sleeping bags, food and warm beverages.  He is quoted in the article stating:

I would stay up all night with them and give them coffee and stuff and feed them

The homeowner said that no drugs or alcohol were allowed inside his home while the homeless where there.  The city discovered what he was doing when EMT’s were called to his home to help a homeless man with a heart condition.

He thought city code allowed him to offer these “slumber parties” until city officials informed him there are "sleeping regulations" for basements and his basement doesn't meet those requirements.

A city spokesman said in a statement:

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

The homeowner told the NBC affiliate:

I’m trying to help these people get out of the cold. There’s not a lot of help for them as far as places to lay their heads.

He also added that he only opened up his basement to the homeless when an area shelter wasn’t available.

If the homeless have no other place to stay and keep warm then is it better for them to be in the bitter cold outside or a basement that does not quite meet city regulations.

I believe the answer is obvious, if I was freezing I would not be worrying about finding a place that meet’s a cities regulation just a place that I can keep warm.

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