In 2007, the state department of public health and the federal centers for Medicaid services decertified Howe. That meant the facility was unable to bill Medicaid and lost millions in federal funding.
In August, Governor Pat Quinn announced that he would close Howe. Families of some residents, an employees union and a number of politicians have started a petition drive to keep Howe open.
Nearly 700 people work at Howe.