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Jane Addams Hull House Closing Sooner Than Expected

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 26, 2012 3:10PM


The Jane Addams Hull House Association, which announced last week they would be closing in spring and declaring for bankruptcy, instead has employees scrambling to place clients with appropriate organizations after they said that Friday would be their last day of operations.

Board chairman Stephen Saunders told the Tribune the decision to close was one of necessity, as they don't have the capital to stay open any longer.

"There was just no alternative," he said. "We have to close our doors or we would owe more people money."

Saunders said the organization's debts run in the "several millions," which will also lead Hull House to expedite filing for bankruptcy. When Saunders announced last week they would fold in spring, he cited a drop in fundraising revenue and an increased need for Hull House's services. The organization's revenue was $23 million in June, compared to $40 million in 2001. The board also reviewed their books and recognized they had no money to pay staff beyond January, which led to their decision to close sooner than expected.

Employees were aware of the problems, but nearly all of them didn't think Friday would be their last day. National Organization of Legal Service Workers Local 2320 chief Connie Mitchell, which represents nearly half of Hull House's employees, told the Tribune the organization violated their contract with the union by not giving them at least 40 days notice, and is considering their legal options.