The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Five-Year-Old Boy in Chicago Shelter Dies

Jan 1, 2024

Five-year-old Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero died on December 17. He got sick in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood at an overcrowded shelter for migrants that is run by the private company Favorite Healthcare Staffing. A day after Jean Carlos died, five more people were hospitalized after becoming ill at the same shelter.

Over 2,300 people are staying in this former warehouse, more than half of whom are children. On top of a severe lack of medical care, people staying there complain that the crowding and unsanitary conditions have spread diseases. They showed reporters videos of visibly sick children crammed in with others, and water leaking from the ceiling onto cots.

The city gave Favorite Healthcare Staffing a 100-million-dollar contract to run shelters for migrants. Yet rather than calling out the company after this boy died, Chicago’s mayor tried to blame Texas for sending people to the city who were already sick.

Favorite Healthcare Staffing is part of a global conglomerate that is owned by a giant private equity company. Their goal is to squeeze out profits for the capitalists that own them, whatever the cost. In this case, apparently, the cost was the life of a five-year-old boy.