Operation Friendship, an inner-city agency that runs six residences for seniors with high needs, has laid off 17 employees after the province awarded a contract for their care to a private company.

CBI Health Group will start running the facilities on July 22 under a provincial initiative to consolidate the number of home-care service providers in Alberta.

Many of the clients housed by Operation Friendship have addictions or problems with their mental and physical health.

Operation Friendship executive director Gail Sopkow is worried about the level of care residents will receive from the new provider.

"We advocate for them, we provide all types of service for them and they're the people we care about," she said.

"And if this company can provide the type of services to these clients they they currently receive, then we'll be very happy. If they can't, we'll make a lot of noise."

Nurse Anna Gomez says that staff have been told that CBI Health Group will use a "three strikes you're out" policy for residents, meaning they’ll be cut off from services if they don’t cooperate when it's time for a shower or to have their rooms cleaned.

In a written statement, an Alberta Health Services spokeswoman said that a transition plan was in place to make sure patient care would not be affected.

She added that experienced staff would provide care which would be based on the individual needs of each client.

No one from CBI could be reached for comment on Monday.

With files from the CBC's Mark Harvey