Richard Roeper Blog


One of the most vital community centers in the Chicago area will be closed–as will many other important services–under the latest Illinois budget. People coping with a variety of mental, physical and emotional issues will be without the support system that keeps them going.

But hey, there’s $17 million in there for zoos.

A dozen community service agencies will be holding a rally. Many of their clients will be there as well.

More information below.
“The rally is to protest the 50% budget cut for community services is in the current
FY10 state budget. We would have to close. The consumers did letters today,
they are heartbreaking. If anyone wants to interview
consumers/families/staff or use letters for columns, they can contact Lynn at
(708) 429-1260  x.1233.”
Lynn Zona
Director of Program Services
Southwest Community Services, Inc.
6775 Prosperi Drive
Tinley Park, Il. 60477

4 Responses to “Priorities.”

  1. James Says:

    I’m a recent college grad and have been employed with a behavioral/mental health center in the northwest suburbs as of this summer. I will be attending grad school in the fall to work on a master’s in clinical psych. My biggest fear is that in 2-years time, the career and profession I have the passion to work in, will either be limited or non-existent in the state Illinois due to such cuts. It is inconveniently depressing to think that community services are the first thing to go when a budget is in crisis. So many people are at-risk and its the clients and consumers of these services that cuts hurt the most. I was so happy to have received a job out of college and with a center that was pretty much my top choice. Now, I’m hesitant and not too optimistic about the future of the work I’m involved in. Not enough money is available or given to community services as it is and honestly, the future has to be bleak, no matter the actual service provided. This is sad. I hope the lions, tigers, and bears enjoy their millions, oh my.

  2. Bill Says:


    This is how politicians work, cut important services so they can get their tax hikes. They never go after pork.

  3. Chris M. Says:

    The trend over the last several years has been to cut services for the mentally ill so they don’t get the help they need and end up in the criminal justice system. It ends up costing taxpayers even more than the original cuts. It costs a lot more to house people in jail then it does to provide services that are really needed.

  4. Pat Halloran Says:

    They have been talking about closing Oak Forest Hospital in Oak Forest Illinois also. For most of my working career I have been fortunate to have medical benefits provided by my employer. I have had freinds and family members who have not been so fortunate and I have taken them to Oak Forest Hospital when they needed to see a doctor, desperately, and they had no medical benefits so they had to go there. People go there and sometimes wait over 8 hours to be seen, but hey, they get to see a doctor. The place is ALWAYS full. Where are these unfortunate people going to go? And where are all the emoployees going to go?

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