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.
The Northwest Side Housing Center recently contacted Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) and requested training for housing counselors who are preparing to broaden their services to include renters. Counselors from the Northwest Side Housing Center, the Spanish Coalition for Housing, the Center for Changing Lives, and the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council were able to attend LCBH’s training and we discussed a variety of matters impacting their clients such as termination notices, the impact of foreclosure on renters, and issues related to lead poisoning. Now, when these housing counselors encounter renters needing legal assistance, they have a trusted resource in LCBH as well as the tools they need to asses and refer those clients.
For many years housing counseling agencies have been important resources in their communities, offering counseling, support and assistance to homeowners who are trying to save their homes from foreclosure as well as assisting and educating applicants seeking mortgages. These agencies offer free help to residents in their local community with respect to housing issues. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulates these housing counseling agencies.
Each year Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) hosts a legal intern through the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Law Student Internship Program. The program connects law students from across the country with legal aid agencies in Illinois. Interns work part-time during the school year to help increase the impact of the agency and develop their legal skills.
This year, LCBH is excited to work with Adrien Fernandez. Adrien grew up in a suburb of Akron, Ohio and moved to Columbus to attend Ohio State University. She always wanted to live in Chicago so when she was applying to law schools, she mainly focused on schools in the city. She now attends Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
We sat down with Adrien for a Q & A to learn more about her.
Q: What was your major at Ohio State?
A: I double majored in History and Spanish.
Q: What inspired you to attend Law School?
A: While at Ohio State, I became interested in working for the government but I was not sure in what capacity. During my senior year, I had an internship with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office in their Death Penalty Division. I enjoyed the work and thought that what the attorneys did there was admirable. This really cemented for me that I wanted to work for the public and becoming an attorney was a way I could do that.
LCBH held it's 35th Annual Benefit: Healthy, Happy & Housed on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. It was terrific to spend time with our friends and allies, old and new!
We heard firsthand from Mars Caulton, a tenant whom LCBH helped when the apartment she and her son lived in for 10 years went into foreclosure. She called LCBH She found herself in a scary web of legal problems just by living in a foreclosed unit, even though she had always paid her rent on time. LCBH put together a team of professionals to help her and her son through a very difficult ordeal and produced an outcome that looked much different than the harsh reality for most renters who must attend court without representation.
We also introduced our new Medical-Legal Partnership in collaboration with Loretto Hospital and PCC Community Wellness Center that brings medical providers and attorneys together to provide a continuum of care for low-income renters who disproportionately fail in their compliance with medical treatment due to barriers that can really only be properly addressed through some legal assistance. Housing problems are among the most common issues that keep people from complying with their treatment or in many instances either causing or exacerbating their illness such as the cases involving lead, mold, and bedbugs. This model of service delivery is can revolutionize the outcomes for people by creating a lasting impact through an interdisciplinary approach.
At LCBH, pro bono is an integral part of our work. Our volunteers and interns give us the manpower and resources we need to do our work more effectively and to reach out to as many renters as possible.
Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing invites you to our 35th Annual Benefit.
HEALTHY, HAPPY & HOUSED
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
5:30 - 7:30 pm
77 West Wacker,
Join LCBH for an intimate gathering of mingling and fundraising, while enjoying an array of hors d’oeuvres and open bar all to support a great cause. Help us as we highlight the exceptional achievements over the last year, from dedicated individuals and organizations who continue to keep housing in Chicago healthy, affordable, and safe for all!
With your support, LCBH can continue to provide free legal and supportive services for lower-income renters while advocating for the rights of all renters!
Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing invites you to Networking Night hosted by our Young Professionals Board.
November 5, 2015
5:30 - 7: 30 PM
The Boss Bar
420 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Enjoy happy hour at the bar as you meet and mingle with members of the LCBH Young Professionals Board and learn more about what it means to be a member and to advocate for those who do not have equal access to justice. Members of the YPB will be in attendance.
Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) is fortunate to host Lauren Madison, our 2015-2016 AmeriCorps VISTA. VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for 45 years.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you go to College?
I’m from Grosse Pointe Woods, a suburb of Detroit. I attended Hope College, where I majored in History and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies.