Chicago Property Owner Opens Renovated Building to Shelter Migrants, Sparks Community Debate


In the heart of Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, a property developer has taken a bold step in response to the city’s immigration crisis. Chris Amatore, who has a history of buying, rehabbing, and selling over 600 buildings around the city, has now turned his attention to providing temporary shelters for homeless Venezuelan asylum seekers.

On a cold Sunday, dozens of migrants, including children, were seen entering a three-story building on Essex Avenue that was under renovation. The sight prompted concerned residents to call the police, fearing a break-in. However, it was later revealed that the migrants had been authorized by Amatore to take refuge in the building.

The incident has sparked a debate within the community and beyond about the role of private citizens in addressing immigration issues. While some applaud Amatore’s humanitarian efforts, others question the implications of such actions on neighborhood safety and resources.

Amatore’s mission is self-funded, with a portion of his investment coming from a windfall in cryptocurrency. He states that his faith drives him to use his wealth for good, particularly after witnessing the dire conditions in which many migrants live. “I worship God. I don’t worship money. So I decided to put that money to do something good with it,” Amatore expressed in a statement.

The property developer’s actions come at a time when the city grapples with an influx of migrants seeking asylum. His first shelter provided 60 beds across eight units, and he has indicated the availability of a second building should Mayor Brandon Johnson deem it necessary.

Police officers responding to the scene were initially surprised to learn that the migrants had permission to be there. They noted that the main issue was the building’s capacity limitations, as there were more individuals trying to get in than the space could accommodate.

This unfolding story in Chicago raises critical questions about the intersection of private philanthropy and public responsibility.

As the nation continues to navigate complex immigration challenges, the actions of individuals like Amatore are both celebrated and scrutinized, reflecting the diverse perspectives on how best to address humanitarian needs within the framework of law and order.