Lawyers’ Committee passed a milestone anniversary in 2010 – 30 years of standing up for and with tenants in Chicago. The organization celebrated with an Anniversary Reception in October, taking a brief timeout to review the agency’s history, reflect on the good work that has been done and the thousands of tenant families who have been assisted.
For most of the year, it was business as usual. From tending the day-to-day work of representing tenants in evictions court and residents in building court, to filing restraining orders against unscrupulous landlord “lockouts” and defending their tenants’ right to proper notification of foreclosure. These are just some of the routine types of cases that LCBH handles in the course of a regular week or month. Not the most glamorous of cases, not the type of headline case that a large law firm or corporation features on its annual pro bono report, but important work that makes a real difference in the lives of individuals and families. Someone like Cassandra, who is featured in this report, faces a serious crisis when their housing is threatened. This is an example of the type of success our attorneys secure for our clients using a holistic approach that we offer to them through the collaboration of legal and supportive services.
LCBH fills an important niche in the legal aid community and has resisted expanding in to other legal areas. There have always been more tenants needing our help than we can serve, so it has never made sense to veer away from our core mission. One important addition for our legal clients is case management, offered through our Supportive Services Department. This was added in 2002 and at the time was seen as innovative; now a number of legal organizations have added such a service.
This Annual Report highlights events in 2010 and provides a snapshot of the value LCBH provides to tenants in Chicago. With talented and dedicated staff and Board, generous volunteers, and the support of the legal community, City Departments, numerous foundations and corporations, LCBH is committed to doing what it does best – leveling the playing field for tenants so that they get a fair shake in the legal system and an opportunity to stabilize their housing situations. LCBH believes that everyone should have a decent place to live. And we will continue to strive for that ideal in our daily representation of tenants and our policy and advocacy positions.
When LCBH celebrates another 30 years, it will be 2040. But it is our fervent hope that there will be less need for our services, not more, at that time