Dozens of people from a south suburban mental health facility were taken to area hospitals early Friday after authorities said they were found living in "deplorable" conditions.
A sign outside the facility, located at 14127 S. Leavitt St. in Dixmoor, says the building is run by a company called Value Care Centers, while the address is listed to a company named The Mother's House. On its website, the company said it offers mental health services.
Dixmoor Police Chief Ron Burge said that at round 11 p.m. Thursday, police received a call from inside the facility saying the residents were locked in and couldn't get out.
Burge said that officers responding to the scene found about 30 men inside the building in what he called "deplorable" conditions - sleeping in mattresses on the floor, with no hot water, trash scattered around the building and bedbugs throughout the facility.
Dixmoor police officers recorded video inside the building, showing conditions that Burge said left him "in awe," particularly after he said he came by to try to shut the facility down roughly two weeks earlier for operating without a license.
Medical personnel dressed in protective gear took the men, roughly between the ages of 20 to 50 years old, to area hospitals. Burge said most were okay, but some needed medical attention.
Burge added that no staff members were inside the facility when officers were called, with residents telling him that while staff has been present during the day, they've been left alone at night for a few weeks without any employees on the premises.
Burge said he has tried to reach out to the owners of the building but has not yet heard back, and his concern now is where the residents will go once they're released from the hospital.
"The next step is hopefully to find some place for these individuals to go, and we will address the people that are supposed to run the facility when we are able to locate them," Burge said.
Value Care Centers and The Mother's House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.