It is with great pride that we invite you to review our organization’s 2009 Annual Report. The accomplishments of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing over the year have improved the lives of thousands of low-income tenants in Chicago. This yearly snapshot of LCBH reminds us of the vital needs for our services in order to ensure safe, fair, affordable housing for all Chicagoans.
2009 was a busy and exciting year for LCBH.
Our Tenants in Foreclosure Intervention Project continued to grow to two full time attorneys, two part time attorneys and a program assistant. It is now the largest program that we run and operates in conjunction with our Affordable Housing Preservation Project. LCBH strives to make our programs as responsive as possible. This project was developed in response to the current foreclosure crisis, and we are hopeful that as the crisis abates the project can be scaled back.
By increasing our Pro Bono Coordinator to full time LCBH has expanded our use of volunteers throughout our legal programs and in fact, throughout the organization. LCBH currently has approximately 65 active volunteers compared to 45 one year ago. These attorneys have been extremely effective in serving LCBH clients. Several new firms are involved. We have improved the support and supervision for our volunteer attorneys. Our Pro Bono Coordinator conducts volunteer trainings in our offices and at law firms that have interested attorneys.
Our fundraising events were highlights of 2009. Our spring fundraiser, Hearts for Housing raised more than twice as much as it had the previous year and was attended by over 120 individuals. It increased LCBH’s profile among young attorneys and helped increase affinity for the organization. The fall fundraiser, our 2009 Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony was also successful. We recognized Sheriff Tom Dart for his support of tenants, notably his decision to stop evicting tenants without proper procedure having been followed. This event set a record for attendance.
This Annual Report provides a look at some of the individuals LCBH assisted in 2009. Their stories illustrate that the services LCBH provides can truly by life-changing for our clients.
These accomplishments would not be possible without the help and support of our many volunteers and donors as well as our dedicated staff and Board. They allow LCBH to fulfill our mission every day. On behalf of LCBH and the Board of Directors, thank you for your contribution to our success and your continued support of our efforts.