The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Neglecting Chicago Patients for Profit

Mar 5, 2018

At 11 PM on February 22, police in Dixmoor, a south suburb of Chicago, got a call from residents who said they were locked in at a privatized mental health facility called Mothers House. Police found 30 men with no staff present, living in what the chief called “deplorable” conditions. Residents were sleeping on mattresses on the floor, with no hot water, trash scattered all around, and a severe bedbug infestation. They reported that residents had been locked in and left alone at night for weeks.

This was not the first time Mothers House was brought to the attention of authorities. The mother of one of the residents said she complained to the police in December, and e-mailed other officials. The police chief himself said he had been to the center two weeks earlier to try to shut it down for operating without a business license. And it turns out Mothers House wasn’t even certified to provide residential mental health services!

This is just one example in Mother House’s long history of unpaid bills and of convictions for forgery and theft. In fact, the whole “non-profit” organization seems to have been a scam, used by its director, Eunice Walker, to steal money that was supposed to go to treat mentally ill people.

Walker may be directly responsible for this atrocious situation. But all those politicians who privatized mental health care, and who have for years slashed funding to the Departments of Human Services and Public Health, which are supposed to oversee these types of facilities, are equally responsible.