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Another hostage on life support

Tuesday, Mar 1, 2016

* Press release…

Centerstone officials today announced that the state budget crisis in Illinois has forced the non-profit organization to take measures to consolidate its operations to preserve core behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services essential to its 16,000 clients in Southern Illinois and the Metro-East region.

These measures follow an eight-month budget impasse, during which the State of Illinois has amassed approximately $4.5 million owed to Centerstone for services provided under contracts and other funding agreements.

“Centerstone’s board of directors and executive leadership have been forced to make program, staffing and facility decisions that are painful to our organization and the communities we serve,” said John G. Markley, chief executive officer of Centerstone’s Illinois operations. “We have warned our lawmakers for months that we could not sustain our operations and ensure our most vulnerable citizens have access to the services and support they need while providing millions of dollars in state services without payment. Unfortunately, our concerns have not been heeded, and we have no options left but consolidation that will help us ensure the continued viability of our organization.”

Centerstone is consolidating its operations to focus most of its resources on critical, life-saving services. Measures taken include:

    · A strategic consolidation of offices. An office in Jerseyville, Illinois, will be closed, effective April 1, 2016, and its services relocated to Alton. A transition plan to support impacted clients is in place. Centerstone will continue to provide residential, crisis, community and school-based services in Jersey, Calhoun and Greene Counties.

    · The closure of Centerstone’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Illinois, impacting youth, volunteers and supporters in Jackson, Franklin, Union, Perry and Williamson Counties.

    · The elimination of several open administrative positions; and

    · Reviewing the sale of under-utilized facilities.

Staff in impacted programs will be offered other open positions in the organization.

“These were difficult decisions for our board to make,” said Sally Sheahan, president of Centerstone’s Illinois board of directors. “For the long-term sustainability of Centerstone’s operations, we cannot continue to mount losses related to state contracts any longer. This consolidation will protect jobs and the most essential, life-saving services we offer, but even these measures will not sustain us if this budget impasse is not resolved. We urge our lawmakers to take action now to halt the damage occurring to the fragile behavioral health system in Illinois.”
Centerstone provides comprehensive behavioral healthcare, serving communities in the Metro East region and in Southern Illinois. Centerstone’s compassionate professionals work with children, adults and families to inspire hope and personal growth. Last year, over 16,000 people sought to change their lives for the better through Centerstone’s mental health counseling, substance abuse services, life enrichment programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities. Visit for more information.

About Centerstone

Centerstone, a nonprofit organization, is one of the nation’s largest behavioral healthcare providers. It offers a range of treatment, support and educational programs and services to individuals who have mental health and addiction disorders and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Each year, the organization serves more than 142,000 people of all ages across Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. It also operates the Centerstone Foundation, Centerstone Research Institute, Advantage Behavioral Health, Centerstone Military Services and Centerstone Health Partners. For more information about Centerstone, please visit

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:13 pm:

    Even without the Unbalanced Budget Response Act, Rauner’s “broom” stays busy. Just with this program, he “saved” the State and taxpayers $4.5 million! Maybe GOMB should do a report on all the “savin’s goin’ down”!

  2. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    Hasnt saved anybody anything. When some of these folks wind up in the criminal justice system, the costs only keep going up!

    Let Bruce know on his Gov Rauner Facebook page…since he doesnt have an email address.

  3. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    Jack- My comments are sarcastic. Just so you know.

  4. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:22 pm:

    Remember when I said that Ball and Gala non-profits would survive because of wealthy patrons? Well, I was wrong. This is a Ball and Gala org going down. LSSI, Catholic Charities, Centerstone, Loving God we’re going down. I can’t emphasize enough the negative impact for not a decade but now generation that this is going to have. We’re going to accelerate from here folks. Changes are going to start to come really fast. I thought maybe we’d hold a little longer but this makes me realize we are in active dam collapse.

  5. - illini - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:22 pm:

    OK, we have LSSI, Catholic Charities and numerous other non-profit Social Services Agencies ( under contracts with the State ) cutting back on programs and services to the most deserving and needy of our citizens. How long can we expect these devastating reductions in basic services to continue before there will be sufficient Republican members of the GA to say that enough is enough.

    Oh, I forgot about the $29 million being held over their head. Guess I answered my own question.

  6. - illini - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    Honeybear stated many of the sentiments I tried to post earlier. My question remains - are there any in the GOP members of the GA that have the nerve to go up against the $29 million sledge hammer that BVR is wielding to keep “his party” in line. I don’t see any Profiles in Courage in this group.

  7. - illini - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:33 pm:

    Sorry about the double post, but my first comments did not post and I tried again.

  8. - Me Too - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    I wonder how long the populations these agencies serve can go without before real problems emerge causing public safety concerns, increased crime, child welfare issues, etc. If there are still no profiles in courage then, we are all doomed. Right now we are just slightly [banned word]ed

  9. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 3:46 pm:

    Many of the providers that are trying to hang on without cutting their programs have been, and continue to, provide critical services to their clients despite not having valid contracts or having been paid since July 1.

    One heck of an economic development plan and business model we have going on here in Illinois.

  10. - walker - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    Raunerite Republicans are not Conservatives.

    Relatively small state government, efficiently and cheaply delivering crucial public services by closing state institutions and outsourcing to not-for-profits, was a Conservative “reform.”

  11. - illini - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 4:31 pm:

    Walker - I agree that private not-for-profit agencies can save Illinois many millions, it does no good if the State refuses to pay its obligations - so who suffers?

    Unless BVR wants to turn all these services over to private corporations ———-

  12. - Mama - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 4:47 pm:

    == illini @ 3:31 pm: “… are there any in the GOP members of the GA that have the nerve to go up against the $29 million sledge hammer that BVR is wielding to keep “his party” in line. I don’t see any Profiles in Courage in this group.”

    Illini, there is no way any Republican will go against Rauner while they are in the middle of an election.

  13. - Mama - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 4:52 pm:

    “I agree that private not-for-profit agencies can save Illinois many millions, it does no good if the State refuses to pay its obligations - so who suffers?”

    Honeybear, correct me if I’m wrong. It is my understanding that the organizations going under the dam are ‘private not-for-profit’ orgs the state contracts with to provide services for the people of IL.

  14. - yinn - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 4:58 pm:

    A for-profit agency has picked up elder care services in DeKalb County since LSSI left.

    Even though Illinois owes Help at Home $65 million, the new agency can afford to operate here because its locations in 10 other states get paid on time.

  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 1, 16 @ 8:24 pm:

    This stuff is really happening.

    Keep in mind, these not-for-profits that are being busted out have contracts with the State of Illinois.

    They’re just not being paid for the services they’ve provided, under contract, in good faith.

    I haven’t yet seen a Tribbie edit on the dorm-room revolutionary rationale for the State of Illinois being a chronic, scumbag, deadbeat.

    Rich, Mark Brown, I guess it’s on you. Ain’t anyone else in the media stepping up. Which is amazing, because it’s easy picking.

    Maybe you should start with the juvenile homeless shelters that have been shut down although there’s dedicated, non-GRF money in the Treasury to pay them.

    It’s going to be cold the next few days.

  16. - Earnest - Wednesday, Mar 2, 16 @ 7:37 am:

    >A for-profit agency has picked up elder care services in DeKalb County since LSSI left.

    Rauner did promise he would run the state like a business, so I would expect the same financially effective management he showed in leading the state that he showed in his nursing home ventures.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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