On a late January night, city workers and volunteers fanned across the city to count the city’s homeless population. Despite frigid temperatures in the upper 20s, they found men and women huddled in tents, sleeping under piles of soiled blankets and lying on cardboard boxes and wooden pallets. Some had settled in small encampments under expressways. In 2015, Chicago reported 6,786 homeless people living on its streets and in its shelters, a  8 percent increase over the previous year. Thirty percent of the homeless in 2015 were living on the streets. Photographers for the Reporter accompanied census takers for their official count last month, and later visited places in the city where homeless people have formed small encampments.

[Some photo subjects declined to give their full names.]

Stacey Rupolo

Stacey is a photojournalism fellow at The Chicago Reporter.

Max Herman

Max Herman is a freelance photographer based in Chicago.

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