FY 2017 Recipients
On December 5, 2016, the Board of Directors unanimously approved grants to 30 non-profit organizations totaling $2,274,882. These grants were made possible by consumer settlement funds awarded to the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) by Attorney General Lisa Madigan for the IEJF’s general grants program with an eye towards increasing services for low-income people impacted by consumer law issues. Grants providing consumer legal assistance are highlighted in yellow.
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation (Alton, Champaign, East St. Louis, Carbondale and Springfield) ($440,000)
- To provide low-income people in 65 counties with representation on family, housing and consumer law cases ($300,000);
- To serve thousands of low-income people in 65 counties in central and southern Illinois by providing legal advice, self-help materials, guidance on how to use the court system and referrals through a telephone hotline ($105,000);
- To help elderly people in 30 counties in central and southern Illinois by providing legal assistance for elder abuse and neglect, guardianship, health and long-term care issues and consumer matters through senior centers, nursing homes and home visits ($35,000).
Prairie State Legal Services (Bloomington, Galesburg, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, St. Charles, Waukegan and Wheaton) ($410,000)
- To provide low-income people in 36 counties with representation on family, housing and consumer law issues and representation for senior citizens in northern and western Illinois ($235,000);
- To serve thousands of low-income people in 36 counties in northern and central Illinois by providing legal advice, self-help materials, guidance on how to use the court system and referrals through a telephone hotline ($175,000).
Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (Cook County) ($230,000)
- To help tens of thousands of low-income people in Cook County by providing legal advice, self-help materials, guidance on how to use the court system and referrals through a telephone hotline and to support the development of a consumer brief services unit ($180,000);
- To assist unrepresented parties with advice, information and form preparation at the Domestic Relations Self-Help Desk ($25,000) and the Collections Self-Help Desk at the Daley Center in the Cook County Circuit Court ($25,000).
LAF (Cook County) ($190,000)
- To support attorney positions in the consumer practice group who provide civil legal assistance on consumer matters to senior citizens and low-income families in Cook County.
Illinois Legal Aid Online (Statewide) ($140,000)
- To support the development and provision of critical, reliable and user-friendly web-based legal information to lower-income and vulnerable Illinoisans facing legal problems.
Equip for Equality (Chicago, Rock Island, Carbondale & Springfield) ($130,000)
- To provide legal advice, information and referrals on special education legal issues through a statewide telephone helpline.
Chicago Legal Clinic (Cook County) ($90,000)
- To provide legal education, resources and referrals for Cook County residents dealing with paternity and child support issues at an Advice Desk at the Daley Center in the Cook County Circuit Court ($50,000);
- To provide direct representation to low-income people with collection and other consumer law issues ($40,000).
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (Cook County) ($85,000)
- To protect children by serving as Guardian Ad Litem in Cook County probate guardianship cases and as a Child Representative in domestic relations cases ($50,000);
- To develop a pro bono program to provide representation to low-income people on bankruptcy matters ($35,000).
Center for Conflict Resolution (Cook County) ($80,000)
- To assist thousands of Cook County residents in resolving a wide array of disputes through mediation.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid (Cook County) ($60,000)
- To assist individuals in Cook County wishing to expunge arrest records and/or seal non-violent, misdemeanor convictions in order to obtain employment and attain economic self-sufficiency via Advice Desks at the Richard J. Daley Center, the Markham Courthouse, the Juvenile Temporary Center, 26th & California and community summits ($40,000);
- To provide legal advice and representation to currently/formerly incarcerated parents on their family and housing law issues ($20,000).
Center for Economic Progress (Cook County) ($45,000)
- To provide financial capability and legal services focused on helping low-income consumers manage debt and build credit.
Dispute Resolution Institute (Carbondale) ($40,000)
- To help low-income families and children resolve custody and visitation issues by providing mediation services in the First Judicial Circuit.
Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (Cook County) ($40,000)
- To provide civil legal assistance on housing matters impacting low-income renters.
University of Illinois Community Preservation Clinic (McLean County) ($40,000)
- To provide legal representation to borrowers within the McLean County Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program.
Resolution Systems Institute (Kane County) ($35,000)
- To operate a court-based mediation center focused on child-dependency issues.
Uptown Peoples Law Center (Chicago) ($24,000)
- To provide legal advice and representation on housing and social security issues to vulnerable members of the Uptown community.
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (Chicago) ($20,000)
- To provide legal representation to survivors of rape and prostitution who want assistance protecting their civil rights.
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (Cook County) ($20,000)
- To provide legal information on education rights to homeless students and their families, unaccompanied youth, educators and advocates.
Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (Cook County) ($20,000)
- To provide court-based self-help legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence.
Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services (Chicago) ($20,000)
- To provide legal information, advice and representation to vulnerable Chicagoans on housing and consumer issues.
Legal Council for Health Justice (Chicago) ($20,000)
- To provide legal advice and representation to lower-income families, seniors and veterans facing complex legal issues due to disabilities and special health needs.
Life Span (Cook County) ($20,000)
- To provide culturally-sensitive legal representation to Arab-American domestic violence survivors.
Chicago House & Social Service Agency (Cook County) ($15,000)
- To provide self-help legal assistance on civil law matters to members of the transgender community.
Westside Justice Center (Chicago) ($13,000)
- To support the delivery of legal information seminars to low-income people living in the North Lawndale and East Garfield Park neighborhoods.
Administer Justice (Kane & DuPage Counties) ($10,000)
- To educate low-income individuals on their legal rights as consumers via a bilingual web-based project.
Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Cook County) ($10,000)
- To provide self-help legal assistance to unrepresented litigants in the settlement conference process who are referred by federal court.
Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (Cook County and northern collar counties) ($10,000)
- To support community legal education workshops in partnership with the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.
Metropolitan Tenants Organization (Cook County) ($10,000)
- To provide legal information on housing matters impacting low-income renters.
Centro de Informacion (Kane County) ($5,732)
- To coordinate and host legal information seminars on a variety of topics for Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Southern Illinois University School of Law Foundation (Carbondale) ($2,150)
- To educate immigrant detainees in southern Illinois on their legal rights.