Our client, Gerald S., has worked hard throughout his career and never missed paying his rent. However, in October, Gerald's company began laying off employees, and unfortunately, Gerald was one of them.
He had enough savings to pay for November and December's rent, but Gerald was already focused on how he was going to pay January's rent. "I was already talking to people trying to see if I could get help," Gerald said. "You aren’t even behind yet," he remembers being told, to which Gerald would respond, "I know, but I’m about to be."
Once January came, even after searching profusely, Gerald still did not have employment and was falling behind on rent. He began trying to communicate with his property manager, who became unresponsive, causing Gerald more anxiety as he had never been in this situation. To make matters worse, Gerald was served with an eviction notice in late February. Gerald turned to the Salvation Army for help, "They gave me a couple of leads and you guys' [LCBH's] information."
He contacted LCBH immediately and left a voicemail about his situation.
"I was surprised, they [LCBH] called so fast. I left a voicemail on Monday or Tuesday, and they called back Wednesday, wanting to set up an interview," Gerald said. Ciquoiah, Court-based Emergency Rental Assistance Intake VISTA, called Gerald to begin the intake process and referred him to LCBH's legal team. Gerald was assigned a LCBH attorney immediately. "If I had any questions about court, my lease, or anything about the case, Carl [LCBH attorney] was right there. It was great," Gerald shares.
LCBH represented Gerald in court, where his case ended with a favorable settlement that enabled him to remain in his home. Over the landlord's initial objections, LCBH was able to seal the eviction proceedings from public view so that Gerald would not experience issues looking for future rentals. LCBH was also able to connect Gerald with the State of Illinois Homelessness Prevention Funds, which allowed him to pay back the three months of rent he owed totaling $1,900.
"I have never been evicted before and never been behind on rent anywhere. If I wouldn’t have found LCBH I would have been evicted, I would have been kicked out and had to find somewhere else to go." Gerald says.