Blog: LCBH Alumni

Welcome to LCBH’s Blog. Our blog delivers original articles written by our staff, interns and volunteers. We strive to provide informative stories about the work we do on behalf of Chicago renters and the issues renters face.

LCBH Executive Director Mark Swartz

I hope you, your family, and your colleagues are safe and healthy. As we stand in support of the Black Lives Matters movement, we do so in recognition that the majority of LCBH’s clients are Black and that the structural racism and racial disparities in our health, criminal law, and other systems are equally evident in our eviction system. As such we will continue to prioritize LCBH’s advocacy in Chicago’s hardest-hit Black communities.

As we have for 40 years, LCBH pledges to partner with you to reform eviction court and leverage technology to better serve renters facing serious housing issues. In this newsletter, I invite you to learn more about Renny and how you can help prevent COVID-19 related evictions.

Laurel Chen

Laurel Chen was an intern in LCBH's supportive services department during the 2018-2019 academic year. LCBH is grateful to have Laurel's voice and advocacy. If you are a former pro bono attorney, supportive services intern, or legal fellow, we encourage you to Share Your Story.

How did you get involved with LCBH?
I was an intern at LCBH during my 2nd year at the University of Chicago School of Service Administration (SSA). Before applying to SSA, I worked for the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness, where I focused on a range of homelessness prevention strategies.

Why did you want to intern at LCBH?
I was interested in learning more about on the ground housing issues. I found LCBH in SSA's field placement catalog and I liked its holistic approach to housing issues by combining social work and legal-aid. So, I reached out to Jude Gonzales, LCBH's Supportive Services Director, about a position.

What was it like to be an intern at LCBH? What work did you do?
I worked with clients who were receiving legal services. I assisted them in finding a new housing situation. I would check in with clients by phone or person. A lot of this involved reaching out to landlords, going through affordable housing listings and supporting clients to find a good match for them. I did this in partnership with the attorneys on the case.

Patricia Bronte, LCBH Alumni

For this month’s Alumni Spotlight, we sat down for a conversation with Patricia Bronte, a former LCBH Board Member, Legal Director, and Acting Executive Director.

As part of LCBH’s 40th anniversary, we’re reaching out to our alumni, those individuals who have supported LCBH’s growth by serving as an intern, board member, or employee. Patricia Bronte is a special person who has worn all three hats in service to LCBH!

Patricia joined LCBH as an intern after her first year at Northwestern’s School of Law in 1985. Patricia said, "LCBH’s mission resonated with me and has remained in my heart ever since."

After her graduation from Northwestern, Patricia remained actively involved with LCBH. She served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1989 to 1999 and occupied the role of Board President from 1995 to 1998. In 1996, she was heavily involved with the editing of Time to Move, LCBH’s first significant report on Chicago’s eviction court.

In 2000, Patricia transitioned to the role of Legal Director and acting Executive Director, where she expanded the Attorney of the Day program, which provided legal representation for tenants with limited resources and advocated for systemic reforms. This expansion included paralegal volunteers, which increased the number of cases accepted.