One glance at Calvin Jerome McCloud's small, tidy one-bedroom South Shore apartment and it's obvious that the center represents a big part of his life. Along with pictures of various family members, he keeps a collection of photos taken at the center over the years. One photo shows him sitting alone in the waiting area. In one group portrait, his arm is draped around the shoulder of his counselor, who was recently laid off. In others, he is shown with a flat expression, a characteristic of schizophrenia, surrounded by the men and women in his therapy group. McCloud fears the prospect of going to another mental health center. In a world of constant change and upheaval, the clinic has been a place of stability and predictability. He knows he's at risk of falling apart if he doesn't get help, and says he plans to go wherever he can. But he said dejectedly: "Its going to change my life."
Tribune photo by Kuni Takahashi