Over the past week, I have seen new faces along the streets of Chicago. New street people, I mean. I think I have noticed between 6 and ten new people, and these poor souls seem to be much worse off than the "regulars" whose faces are so familiar. Their clothes are uniformly filthy, and their faces frighteningly lost. Most of our street people manifest a certain amount of personality. They are "street smart" and quick to make or attempt a hustle. But the new folks on the block are quiet, confused and passive.
I don't know what has happened lately, but I suspect that these people had been squatting in buildings long vacated and condemned which have--this week--given way to the first stages of gentrification. It would be worth the Tribune's while to investigate.