DIXMOOR, Ill. — An investigation into a bug-infested assisted living facility in the south suburbs is expanding after deplorable living conditions prompted police to evacuate more than 30 people from the building late Thursday.
Dixmoor Police Chief Ronald Burge said he expects criminal charges to be filed soon, after he asked the Illinois State Police and State of Illinois' Medicaid Fraud Division to join the investigation.
"I just don’t believe anybody should live in those deplorable conditions," Chief Burge said.
There still appears to be a lot of confusion surrounding Mothers House and the building where it was located. It’s been difficult for investigators to find staff and figure out who ran what, as calls from concerned relatives continue to pour in.
Police evacuated the building at 14127 Leavitt late Thursday night after someone called 911 and said there was no staff on site and he needed help.
Cell phone video taken by Chief Burge show the conditions at the mental health facility when police arrived: people lying on beds with no sheets and barely a blanket, someone on a mattress in the hallway, bed bugs on the walls.
After her autistic son had been living at Mothers House for three days, Angie Britch says she saw all sorts of red flags. There was no hot water. The staff made excuses or lied when she asked questions. There weren’t any supplies for residents.
"A lot of times I’d say, 'take a shower.' He’d tell me, 'I can’t. I don’t have toothbrush or a toothpaste,'" Britch said.
Mothers House had been operating without a license, and yet hospital social workers were referring patients there, saying it was an excellent facility.
Donelia and Robert Pittman had his mother in the facility, for which the organization was paid $650 a month from social security.
"She’s 61 years old. She’s left now. She’s homeless," Donelia said. "All of her clothes are gone, all of her belongings are gone. She has nothing."
One parent of a former resident says the social security agency is also investigating Mothers House for misuse of funds.