The battle over access to mental health treatment in Chicago is brewing again, as the Chicago Department of Public Health mulls shuttering at least four city-run mental health centers.
Depending on how much money CDPH gets from the state for this fiscal year, as many as five centers could close.
To raise awareness of the plight of people who receive treatment at the North River facility, 5801 N. Pulaski, the Coalition to Save Our Mental Health Centers is holding an inter-faith prayer tonight, and will call on local alderman to fight to keep the centers open.
The prayer services takes place tonight at 7:30 at the Sauganash Community Church, 4541 W. Peterson.
The event will also address a voter-approved tax hike in the North Side neighborhood, which would expand services at the center. To date, no action has occurred to initiate the tax hike.
The city's mental health centers have endured a topsy-turvy year. In December, health department Commissioner Terry Mason announced five centers - four on the South Side and North River - would close, citing state budget cuts. That number was amended to four, which were due to close in April.
A Daily News investigation found the city bungled billing for mental health services, and was penalized by the state to the tune of more than $1 million. Subsequently, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced the centers would stay open with the help of federal stimulus money.
Earlier this month, plans to close the centers were revealed. They could close as early as Aug. 15.