Legal Aid Provides Financial Stability
IEJF grantee Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) prevents injustices by focusing on people who are denied access or ability to remain in public housing due to criminal records. In the case of Karen, a single mother of five, CGLA helped her gain financial stability. Karen found herself unemployed and homeless after leaving an abusive relationship. As a result, she and her children were temporarily residing with a friend in Joliet, which caused a serious hardship for her disabled child who receives all his medical care in Chicago.
Karen was denied admission into the housing authority’s voucher program based on a misdemeanor conviction, a result of her attempt to break up a fight. CGLA’s Housing Law Attorneys worked with Karen to dispute the allegations and present evidence in mitigation. CGLA also helped Karen apply for a health care waiver that will remove her criminal record—ultimately removing the barrier to employment opportunities. This allowed Karen to financially support her family.
Denial of admission to public housing is a major obstacle for many families in obtaining stability. While people are eligible to obtain public housing despite past criminal records, few clients are aware of this. Even fewer families know what steps are necessary to appeal a denial of admission case and how to present mitigating evidence. By helping clients like Karen, CGLA allows families to take a major step on the road toward financial stability and success.