* From Sarah Holliday at Family Focus…
At the urging of colleagues, I am writing to share news of a mass layoff at our social service agency, Family Focus.
Family Focus has been providing early childhood development programs in the Chicagoland area for more than 40 years. We currently serve 17,000 people annually in Chicago, Aurora, Cicero, DuPage County, Evanston, and Highland Park/Highwood. We help families make sure their children meet developmental milestones and are ready for school on time. We provide parenting education to DCFS families, drastically reducing the percentage of parents that reengage with the system. Our centers have been a cornerstone of the communities we serve for many years.
We are heartbroken that we have to take this step and we hope that our partner organizations can be saved from this pain. So, we are sharing our story in the hopes that it may move someone in a position to help bring an end to this impasse. I attached a letter from our CEO, Merri Ex, explaining the steps we are taking.
On a personal note, I’ve been reading Capitol Fax since I started working with our state contracts. The information you’ve posted has helped us plan as much as was possible over the past two years, and your work is much appreciated.
* The attached letter from the CEO is here.
According to the CEO, the state owes Family Focus $2.7 million. They’re laying off 100 employees, about 71 percent of their staff. They’ve taken out emergency loans from board members and key donors, but it hasn’t been enough. They’re experiencing an extreme cash flow crisis and have to slash costs.
You can learn more about this group by clicking here and here.
This state makes me want to scream.