Dear Friends of LCBH:
For many of us, the holiday season means spending more time with family, sharing good food and conversation, and cozying up in our warm homes. But for Michelle King, a single mother of three children, much of the excitement for the upcoming season had to be put on hold. You see, Michelle received an eviction notice from her landlord, giving her only five days to move out and throwing her family into crisis.
Michelle was not only worried about where she and her kids would go, but she was also confused. She had always paid her rent on time, even though the apartment had many problems, including broken heat. After unsuccessfully trying to get her landlord to fix the issues, Michelle called the city to complain. She certainly didn’t think she could get evicted because of it.
Nervous that she would be forced to move, Michelle reached out to Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH), the only legal aid organization in Chicago serving lower-income renters who face serious housing issues. In collaboration with two pro bono attorneys, LCBH secured a court order instructing the landlord to fix the heat, negotiated a settlement to waive payment of two months rent, and obtained more time for Michelle and her family to find a better home. LCBH was also able to get Michelle’s court records sealed, which ensured that this eviction won’t appear on her credit reports or otherwise hinder her from renting in the future. Thanks to the contribution of donors like you, Michelle and her family will be enjoying the holiday season in a warm and safe home.
Other families, like Jorge and Velma Medina, are evicted simply because they live in a foreclosed building, even when they are current on their rent. Every day, over 90 individuals and families are evicted from their homes in Chicago in a quick, harsh process that usually concludes in a three-minute court proceeding. Many of these people are unjustly evicted and forced to pay money they don’t owe simply because they do not have a voice in court. Once evicted, the utter lack of affordable housing in Chicago and skyrocketing rents make it extremely difficult to find a new home, and often result in families being displaced from their neighborhoods. This kind of housing instability has a damaging long-term impact on educational outcomes, as well as physical, mental and emotional health, especially for children.
LCBH combines critical legal and supportive services to protect low-income renters’ rights in court, improve unsafe and unhealthy living conditions, and ensure that families have a decent and affordable place to live. This holistic approach helps families like the Medinas move beyond the legal emergency and overcome obstacles that might prevent them from securing safe, stable housing in the long term. LCBH worked with the Medina family over the course of seven months to help them find and pursue new rental house listings and avoid scams. They now have a new rental home! Your generosity makes success stories like these possible.
LCBH is committed to helping families like the Kings and Medinas, but providing our clients with comprehensive legal advocacy and supportive services takes a significant amount of resources. We need your help to ensure Chicago’s low-income renters have a home for the holidays.
We are asking for your support because, for hundreds of renters each year, LCBH’s free legal services are their last defense against homelessness. To continue this valuable work, LCBH needs your help this holiday season and beyond. Each and every dollar helps us serve more families and goes towards direct legal services and community education. Please make a gift to LCBH, in any amount, to help families like the Kings and Medinas have a home for the holidays.
Your contribution is needed and appreciated as we move into the New Year. Thank you, and we wish you a wonderful and warm holiday season!
Very truly yours,
Cheryl L. Lawrence
LCBH Executive Director
P.S. Your fully tax-deductible donation has an immediate impact at LCBH, especially because all new or increased donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar!