The Chicago community soon learned of seven deaths at the institution since 2008. The deaths were the result of neglect and poor staffing.
Access Living, along with Chicago ADAPT, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, The Community Renewal Society and others began to organize in an effort to hold Alden accountable, improve conditions at the institution, and raise awareness around the need for more community-based service choices.
In addition, Equip for Equality, Illinois’ Protection and Advocacy organization, has launched an investigation.
On November 19, the coalition protested at the management offices of Alden on Chicago’s northwest side.
The coalition rallied to underscore the fact that Alden had paid only $20,000 of the $190,000 in fines levied against it. Meanwhile, the president of Alden Management Services, Floyd Schlossberg, had made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Illinois politicians.
The protest made the papers the next day, in a story written by two reporters from the Chicago Tribune who have been following the events at Alden North.
In the past week, two more stories have appeared, covering changes that Alden North has pledged to make to improve conditions and looking deeper at the history of fines against Alden and another institution.
Access Living community organizers, along with other advocates, will continue to work around the issue until conditions for people with disabilities improve and until options in the community are available.