The looting and rioting that gripped Chicago streets Sunday night into Monday morning has claimed an unlikely and heartbreaking victim: families staying at the The Ronald McDonald House, a nationwide charity that provides a homelike environment and resources to families while their children receive life-saving treatment at local hospitals.
According to CBS Chicago, rioters struck the facility at 211 E. Grand Ave. near Lurie Children’s Hospital, smashing several windows as families were asleep inside the building.
Looters smash the doors of the Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville with families and their sick children inside: pic.twitter.com/H1hkwJBaIv
— DIANE PATHIEU (@pathieuabc7) August 11, 2020
“They were very concerned because there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people, you know, making choices that put them at risk and put our families at risk,” said Lisa Mitchell of Ronald McDonald House.
“They’re already in a really really difficult spot and having this kind of stress additional stress and worrying about being able to get too and from the hospital…it’s just doubling the strain,” she went on.
“We’re here for families at all times—whether there’s a pandemic or civil unrest, we need to make sure that we are here allowing families to get the rest they need while they have a child in the hospital seeking care, and so it’s so important that anything that might be going on outside, we maintain our care for families,” Mitchell declared.
Thankfully, there have been no reports of harm done to families or staff at the charity, and CBS reports that no appointments or treatments were missed because of the incident.
More than 100 people were arrested and 13 officers were injured during the riot that led to over $60 million in damage across the city. A security guard and another person were shot and hospitalized in critical condition, FOX 32 in Chicago reported.
“This was straight-up felony criminal conduct,” Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “This was an assault on our city.”
2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, however, believes the city should have been better prepared.
“It’s a recipe for ineffective law enforcement,” Hopkins said of the chaos, “and that’s what we saw with this wide-scale looting where the police officers were largely in a passive posture, letting it happen because they didn’t know how to stop it, and it many cases if they did try to intervene it was a threat to their own life and safety.”
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