The Ronald McDonald House in Chicago was vandalized during looting early Monday morning while families and their sick children huddled inside, the charity said Tuesday.
The facility, located in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood near the Lurie Children’s Hospital, provides resources to families with children receiving medical care. Over 30 families were sleeping inside on Monday as individuals allegedly smashed windows, ABC7 in Chicago reported.
“[We were] very concerned there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people making choices that could put them at risk and put our families at risk, so the staff was frightened,” Lisa Mitchell, of Ronald McDonald House Charities, told ABC 7 Chicago.
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
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“They are already in a really, really difficult spot,” she said of the families. “Having this kind of additional stress and worry about getting to and from the hospital even though we are five blocks away because of safety concerns is just doubling the strain.”
The building was placed on lockdown during the commotion, CBS Chicago reported. Several windows on the front of the building were smashed, and the front door had to be boarded up. No damage was caused to the inside of the house and no one was injured.
Despite the potential dangers, the charity said it will remain strong and open.
They went after the Ronald McDonald House last night! WHO does that?!? pic.twitter.com/8z2qbprHRM
— Bob Rehse (@BobRehse) August 10, 2020
Widespread looting was reported by law enforcement across Chicago early Monday morning. Shortly after midnight, people reportedly broke store windows and targeted some stores on the city’s “Magnificent Mile.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the violence that plagues the city “a planned attack,” according to The Hill.