Man who invites homeless people to his home during freezing temperatures threatened by city officials

The very last bit of the linked story reads as follows:

Schiller said that while he does plan to stop hosting his slumber parties, he’s working to find other options for taking care of the homeless he now knows so well.

“Somebody’s going to die,” he said.

Wouldn’t at all be surprised if city officials misinterpreted that quote as a threat on their lives, instead of a prediction regarding the homeless population.

Like many others here, I understand that building codes exist for a reason, and that it is important to have the right number of exits so people don’t die in a fire.

At the same time, if temperatures are extremely low, their odds of dying are being increased by not letting them sleep in that basement. The ultimate point of a fire code is to save people’s lives, not to save people’s lives from fire.

If the city doesn’t care enough about the homeless freezing to death to provide them a warm place to sleep, then why the hell does it care about them burning to death?

This is just straight up oppression for oppression’s sake. (Conducted in a kafkaesque manner that leaves us blaming the rules instead of the people)


I was thinking the same thing. His intentions are awesome, but safety codes don’t go out the window because of good intentions.

I would think a simple alternative for him would be to convert the garage space into a living space.

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This really should be thought of as a human rights issue, and those laws have rock-paper-scissors precedence over petty municipal laws.

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Elgin is around 70 miles from Chicago. Fecal-cephalic Elgin officials can’t be blamed on the big city. Elgin is on I90, as is Seattle. Seattle is not a part of Chicago, either.

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Come on. Calling Elgin “Chicago” is like calling New Paltz “New York City”. And you know NYC-ers would come crawling out of the woodwork to protest just the same if you tried.


35 to the loop, almost on the money. Just to be accurate.

When I was growing up Elgin didn’t even qualify as Chicago_land_. Even Schaumburg was pushing it.

Visiting the watch factory remains a cool memory from my childhood.


I missed out on this, as the factory is long gone (84 it was torn down, I think?) . But near where it stood is a few of my favorite fishing spots, and I have a small collection of Elgin watches that based on when they were made, were made there. Across the river from where it stood is one of the train stations I use to get downtown.

The observatory is still standing and owned by the school district I guess. Very cool that 100 years ago watchmakers used to study the movement of the planets in order to make more accurate watches.

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The Elgin factory was closed in the 60s, I don’t know when the building was razed.

There is a small building with a plaque on National St. where I read '84. I could be wrong on the year, and I am out of town at the moment so I can’t just wander over and look at it.

And in this case, NOTHING goes out the window because the windows aren’t up to code. /i

Die in a fire vs. freeze on the street? Hrm, I’ll take sleeping on the third rail for 1000, Alex.

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The article suggests the ceiling is too low while the windows are too high. Bit of a paradox. :thinking:

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I found this (apparently not oneboxable):

Our society’s current approach to the problem of homelessness seems to be to draw our blinds and hope it goes away. No doubt letting these people freeze to death will facilitate that.


Agreed. I think we understand it means the bottom of the window is to high or the window is to small to exit. Cause if I had 6’ ceilings and 5’ windows, well shit, I might as well be sleeping outside with all that heat loss. (Unless it was built in the 70s or so and it is one of those weird 6 inch side light style windows, I mean I just don’t even.)

Some things never change.


Just distribute boot straps. They’ll quickly realize the American Dream and never have to freeze again.


Silly man, this is why we have public libraries.

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Just tell them it is storage for cots, sleeping bags, and the homeless. The City officials don’t consider them people anyway so it just might work.