The determination, dedication and optimism of a group of young, public-interest lawyers 25-years ago in Rogers Park laid a solid foundation for the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing to address the housing issues of those most in need of legal representation. The founders' hard work and foresight allowed the fledgling organization to weather the storms common to the nonprofit world.
We've made tremendous progress over the past 25 years. Yet circumstances sometimes cause us to question whether we are foolish or optimistic in believing that decent, safe, affordable housing and justice for all can be achieved. We watch with the rest of the world as unpreventable natural disasters expose the preventable disasters present in our communities - poverty, discrimination and inequality. The question becomes whether it is more difficult to look at what a disaster like Hurricane Katrina exposes, or not to look. The hope in overcoming destruction is that people will have the courage to look.
Looking into our clients' homes we see a different side of Chicago than most of us imagine. We are proud to call our home Chicago. Still, our client's homes hold a striking resemblance to the homes damaged by natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Clearly mold and rat infestation as well as rotting walls, floors and roofs can just as easily result from landlord neglect.
Chicago may not be fully equipped to cope with the destructive forces of inequality, poverty and discrimination. But, we at LCBH with the support, generosity, and commitment of our tremendous friends and allies have worked to ensure affordable housing is available for all of our community members for the past 25 years, and will continue to fight for as many more necessary until we have won. Thank you to everyone for giving LCBH the opportunity to help Chicagoland tenants find shelter from the storm.