Renter Stories

It is easy to take for granted the powerful role that home plays in our daily lives. Housing stability is connected to better health, better education, and social and mental wellness that nurture success and a sense of well‑being. Right now, right here in Chicago, thousands of families are struggling with housing issues. We invite you to read some of our renters’ stories that show how LCBH and your support have benefited their lives and our communities. We know you appreciate how important having a safe and stable home is to thriving in our lives and in our communities.

Kimberly

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for many Chicago renters, where widespread employment cutbacks and shelter-in-place mandates have made paying rent burdensome and nearly out of the question. Like many tenants, emergency rental assistance came as a relief to Kimberly A. As the sole provider for herself and her daughter, Kimberly was forced to take leave from her job to care for her daughter due to school closings. Her savings dried up and she was left with only a small portion of her earnings.

Miss Wade, Eviction During the Pandemic

While many assume evictions are not an issue for Chicagoans right now due federal and state evictions moratoria, the reality is quite different. Last December, Legal Director Michelle Gilbert interviewed LCBH client Graciela Wade, who generously shared her experience of eviction during the pandemic.

Gerald: My LCBH Attorney and Court Based Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Prevented me from being Homeless

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."

Michael: Without my LCBH Attorney, I Would Have Been Homeless

Our client, "Michael," worked hard throughout his career to save for retirement. He was enjoying his new home in a senior living facility and volunteering his services by working at his building's front desk.

I Wouldn't Wish It On My Worst Enemies

In 30-plus years in the Logan Square area, Margie had only lived in four different apartments. When a new owner bought her building, she was going on her seventh year in the apartment she shared with her son. It was cramped to share a one-bedroom with him, and she wished they had a shower instead of a bathtub, but it was affordable. They both work hourly wage jobs—he’s been Employee of the Month time and again at a large retailer, and she loves the job at a restaurant where she has worked for more than a decade.