Chicago mental health professionals call for funding in Lightfoot's 2023 budget
CHICAGO - A coalition of mental health care professionals are calling for adjustments to Chicago’s 2023 budget.
The group rallied outside City Hall Wednesday to raise concerns about the lack of funding for mental healthcare services in the city.
The group wants to see money in the budget currently designated for 200 unfilled Chicago police positions to instead be used to hire social workers and other mental health care professionals.
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"Our current budget has 900 vacancies in the Chicago Police Department that the police department cannot fill. But they don't have these kinds of vacancies in our public health and in our public clinic infrastructure. The city budget must reflect the acute needs of our most vulnerable residents. We need treatment not trauma passed, fully funded and implemented immediately," said Elena Gormley, Social Service Workers United.
Meanwhile, Evanston's city manager has released the city’s 2023 proposed budget.
The $402 million budget prioritizes investments in city facilities and infrastructure, recommends the restoration of city services and operations to pre-pandemic levels, and aims to promote employee retention by increasing wages.
Public hearings will begin on Monday, October 24.