Overdue State Funding Prompts Major Layoffs For Family Focus

CHICAGO (CBS) — The prospect of starting a third fiscal year without a state budget has prompted one Chicago social service agency to make massive layoffs.

Chicago-based Family Focus Inc. has been providing early education services for more than 40 years, and operates seven centers in the city and suburbs.

Family Focus programming director Sarah Holliday said, after contacting state officials numerous times to ask about $2.7 million in overdue payments for various contract work, funding completely dried up last month.

“It’s caused a major cash-flow crisis for the organization, and unfortunately we have to lay off about 100 people, which is about 71 percent of our workforce, and their last day will be Friday,” she said.

Friday is the last day of the state’s current fiscal year, and Holliday said without a state budget by Friday night, Family Focus also must begin eliminating some of its programs.

“We have a few things that we’ll be running in our centers, but services will be very reduced,” she said.

Holliday encouraged people to call their state lawmakers and voice their support for the organization.

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