Giving Hope to the Homeless
David’s case manager called Cynthia and before she finished her greeting, he began shouting, “David won! David won!” Then he read a portion of the letter that made it clear that the Housing Authority’s denial of David’s housing application was REVERSED!!! CGLA played a vital role in the turnaround by getting his record sealed and by representing him at a Housing Authority hearing.
David was a “guest” at Southwest Chicago PADS (www.swchicagopads.org) long before Cynthia Cornelius (Equal Justice Works Fellow with CGLA, sponsored by the Albert and Anne Mansfield Family Foundation), started volunteering there in 2010. He was one of the first clients served in the volunteer program that eventually evolved into her Equal Justice Works project.
CGLA helped David partially seal 18 dismissed cases in May 2012. We could only partially seal David’s record last year because he will have to wait until September 2013 to seal eligible convictions. Recently, the lingering criminal offenses almost cost him his chance to get housing.
In April, Cynthia received a frantic phone call from David’s case manager. David had received notice from the Housing Authority of Cook County that he was being removed from the waiting list because of his criminal record. Cynthia immediately referred the case to Jill Roberts, an attorney at CGLA. She drafted a letter for David to respond to the notice and agreed to represent him at his hearing, which occurred last month.
David has been working so hard to turn his life around. When PADS Volunteer Coordinator Sheila Bator saw David after his hearing, she said she could have sworn he was standing 6 inches taller. Now, he has probably grown another foot!
We are happy to report that CGLA has once again given hope to the homeless!