Vice President Joe Biden in Chicago as groundbreaking held for SW Side domestic violence shelter
November 25, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Vice President Joe Biden made a day trip to Chicago, helping dedicate a women's shelter, attend a fund raiser and speaking to some students.
The Vice president landed at Midway Airport shortly after 10 Monday morning. He immediately went to the site of a planned women's shelter on the Southwest Side, then spent most of his day elsewhere doing and talking politics.
Led in the mid-morning bitter cold by Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Vice President Biden recalled the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that he sponsored in 1994 in the United States Senate. It's how he began his effort to help every woman he called brave enough to leave an abusive relationship.
"It's about getting the help that matches her courage," Biden said.
Biden helped break ground for the $4.2 million WINGS Metro, the 40-bed shelter opening next year for abused women and their children.
"Imagine the courage it takes to walk out of a home with several small children on a day like today," he said.
"It is shocking to me that it's been a decade since the city of Chicago has opened up new beds and shelters for mothers and their children," Emanuel said.
"With WINGS Metro, we increase the shelter capacity in the city of Chicago, are you ready, by 36 percent," said WINGS Executive Director Rebecca Darr.
"The fact that there is a new shelter being built here means that you know what there's some hope for tomorrow. Things are going to be okay," said former abuse victim Versannette Blackman.
After the groundbreaking, the vice president, whose travel and security were paid for by the U.S. Government, attended a political fundraiser for Senator Durbin at a River North restaurant.
Would he return the favor for him should Biden decide to run for President?
"It's way too early to speculate other than to tell you that Joe Biden is an extraordinarily great Vice President," Durbin said.
After the Durbin fundraiser, vice president Biden lectured students in a closed to the press event at the University of Chicago.
He was there as guest of former White House adviser David Axelrod.
chicago news, charles thomas
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