The Law Project launches texting hotlines for clients

Texting Hotlines - SimpleAs another way to reach out to clients, including homeless youth, the Law Project has launched three texting hotlines.  You can reach the Law Project via text at:

  • The general hotline, (312) 720-1800, for all inquiries and legal assistance;
  • Youth Futures hotline, (312) 720-1787, for legal help for homeless and unaccompanied youth;
  • Health care hotline, (312) 720-1757, for assistance with health care for homeless youth.

CCH continues to offer its toll-free telephone helpline for calls, at (800) 940-1119. 

Texting hotlines provide an alternative way for potential clients to ask for help and for Law Project staff to maintain contact with current pro bono clients. Texting can be more affordable and at times a more comfortable form of communication, especially for youth in need of help.

The New York Times recently highlighted several benefits of texting in providing services, particularly for youth seeking services (In Texting Era, Crisis Hotlines Put Help At Youths’ Fingertips). It notes that texting can provide privacy, especially for youth in group settings or in public and allows the person texting to keep track of referrals or other information provided. It also makes it easier to reach out again at a later time if more assistance is needed.

The Law Project hopes the texting hotlines will facilitate more timely and direct communications with clients.  Many clients do not have a landline phone and often run out of minutes for calls on prepaid cell phones. Many prepaid cell phone plans still allow users to text after “minutes” have run out. Many of our homeless clients must move from place to place and have no private place to have a phone conversation.

Graham Bowman, an Equal Justice Works attorney at CCH, assists homeless youth in accessing health care. Within the first two weeks of using a texting hotline, Graham was able to re-connect with a young client with whom he had previously lost contact.

Beth Cunningham, Associate Director of the Law Project and the Youth Futures attorney, also has a texting hotline to maintain contact with the youth she meets while running a mobile legal aid clinic. Youth Futures offers weekly outreach through school and street programs, including the Center on Halsted, La Casa Norte, and Teen Living Programs.

Texting is a popular communication tool with teens and young adults, but any person looking for legal help can text the CCH legal staff using the general texting hotline, at (312) 720-1800. The Law Project provides free civil legal services to individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homeless, with a focus on education and youth issues.

– Ali Heinen, Case Intake Coordinator