Following the abrupt news last month that Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4) expects to shut down at the end of May, clients and staff from the major mental health service provider want answers about the organization’s imminent closure.
C4 clients, staffers and their supporters from Arise Chicago, SEIU* Local 73 and other groups rallied Tuesday afternoon outside C4’s facility at 4740 N. Clark St. They were there to demand “four C’s for C4: compensation, clients’ rights, communication and commitment,” explained C4 staff therapist Max Beshers.
C4 — which serves more than 10,000 patients annually and has some 300 employees — expects to close May 31 as a result of problems stemming from a new billing and electronic health records system required as part of the Affordable Care Act, according to C4 President and CEO Eileen Durkin.
C4 employees, organizing as the C4 Workers’ Committee, say they have been kept in the dark about the institution’s problems.
“We, as workers, were never told this was happening, so there was no way for us to know or prepare. We were just given short notice that C4 was going to be closing,” said C4 staff therapist Cynthia Cruz. “We don’t have any type of transition plan yet. We don’t know what to tell our clients, and our clients also have a right to know what’s happening for them next.”