This May, we welcomed two new staff members to CCH’s legal and public policy staff. We asked Arturo Hernandez and Samuel Carlson to introduce themselves.
I am excited to return to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, especially in the role as a staff attorney with the Law Project. I previously worked at CCH as a Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) intern, and then I returned to CCH for a one-year law fellowship shortly before I graduated from law school in 2012.
After serving as a law fellow, I worked as an attorney at the Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. (CLC) for a little over six years. At CLC, I mainly worked with pro se litigants who were involved in the mortgage foreclosure process. I provided legal consultations to the pro se litigants, apprising them of their legal rights and options in the mortgage foreclosure process. I also provided direct representation to clients in mortgage foreclosure cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
I was born in Chicago and I have lived on the Northwest Side of Chicago for most of my life. Both of my parents, however, are immigrants from Mexico. Having the ability to speak Spanish has not only been a valuable asset in my work but has also been helpful in bonding with my family. My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic and encouraged me to follow a path of helping others. After graduating from high school, I served in the United States Army.
As a law student at the John Marshall Law School (JMLS), I was a clinical student at the JMLS Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic. As a disabled veteran myself, working with veterans was an extremely rewarding experience. As a law student at JMLS, I was also a clinical intern at the JMLS Fair Housing Clinic.
Outside of work I enjoy volunteering in the community. I serve on the Housing & Land Use Committee of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA). I am also currently on the Board of Directors of LSNA.
As an attorney with the Law Project of CCH, I believe that I will be able to make a significant impact in the lives of people who are homeless or facing housing instability.
I am thrilled to join the policy and advocacy team! I am the Research and Outreach Manager, a new position that includes working in the business and faith communities. Before joining CCH, I worked at LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation) in their Housing Practice Group. I provided court support and housing advocacy for Cook County residents facing housing legal matters. This work was funded by the Chicago Department of Public Health.
I am currently a member of the Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council (CAHISC). This community-elected planning body provides guidance on the allocation of funding to HIV prevention, care, and housing services in Chicago and surrounding collar counties. I am also involved in community housing coalitions and working groups, including the Midwest Harm Reduction Roundtable, Housing Locators Working Group, and the HIV Housing Task Force.
I graduated with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from DePaul University, with a specialization in international public management. I obtained a bachelor’s degree in peace, justice, and conflict studies. My academic focus was displacement and it has included study in Cambodia and Palestine.
– Photo by Claire Sloss, Media