In Charlotte’s Words

Letter from Charlotte

Following is a recent letter to LCBH from a client expressing her gratitude for the support she and her family received from LCBH. We want to share this heartwarming story with you, as your support is what makes these stories possible. Thank you!

My name is Charlotte. I came to the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing in February, very distressed and afraid of being put out on the streets of Chicago. My landlord, I had been renting with for 8 years, went into foreclosure. I found out when the bank came and put a sign on the front door while I was shoveling snow. They told me I could call the bank and they would tell me what to do. I did not know anything about foreclosure, 90 day notices or being served a forceful eviction notice. I called the bank and they told me I would probably have to move.

I started calling around for info: 311, Section 8, CHA [Chicago Housing Authority]. CHA sent me some information about a meeting on foreclosure. They said the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing was going to be there. So my sister and I attended the meeting. They had very good information at the meeting and they [LCBH] said they would help us. We were scared because we didn’t know if we could trust them, because of what we went through. They were all young lawyers wearing their business attire, in my mind, I was thinking, what do these young people know about this stuff. But I am going to go for the appointment. I can’t lose, I already have one foot on a banana peel, and the other outside the door.

So I came to the office early at 8:00 am that morning, I wanted to be the first one there. As soon as we got off the elevator, this man passed us by, he had a pony tail. Smiling and singing to himself, he said “Hi” and let us in the office. Little did we know, we would see him again later. We were waited on by Mark [LCBH legal assistant Mark Mann] and a student working for the summer. Mark is a very, very smart and caring young man. Oh my God, after listening to this young man, I got hope. I wanted to cry because I didn’t know we could get the help we needed. Mark started calling and checking in on me and my sister, sometimes three or four times a week. I did everything they told us to do. He made an appointment for my sister and I to speak with someone in social services [LCBH’s supportive services program]. So we came back and who did we see? John Paul [LCBH’s supportive services director, John Paul Beals]. We both said at the same time, that’s the man in the hallway we saw on the first day, the man with the ponytail. John Paul and his assistant helped us so much. They spent a lot of time with us that day. They called us regularly, checked in on us and gave us info and resources.

We are really grateful and thankful for all the help and time you have given us. I can tell you what a blessing Mark and John Paul are to me and my family. Please, please keep them. We need more people like them in the world. Someone who makes you feel like a person again, not homeless, but somebody special. They both have a special gift that goes beyond their jobs. Their spirit and energy is so positive. I don’t know what I would do or where I would be now if it wasn’t for John Paul and Mark. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will never ever forget them. God bless the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing.