Since 1997, CCH’s Law Project has provided comprehensive legal aid services to students, unaccompanied youth, families, and single adults living doubled-up, in shelters, or on the street. Law Project staff represent clients with varied legal needs including educational rights, public benefits, housing, family law, criminal records relief, and accessing identification documents.
Youth Futures, a mobile legal aid clinic, was opened in 2004 to better serve students and unaccompanied youth through age 24. A college scholarship program for students who have experienced homelessness was opened the same year.
The Law Project provides extensive outreach at schools, shelters, and on the street to ensure legal aid connects with those who need it.
To educate people experiencing homelessness on their rights and options, legal staff distribute 20+ types of outreach materials covering a variety of legal topics.
We offer free, professional trainings to educators, service providers, and attorneys.
In partnership with CCH’s policy and organizing teams, the Law Project also advocates on public policies that impact clients.
During FY23, the Law Project closed 441 cases for 347 clients. Sixty percent of cases were on behalf of children (22%) and youth (38%) clients. Legal staff reached 2,774 youth at 208 outreach sessions at youth shelters/drop-ins and high school legal clinics. We also reached 2,161 community members at 36 events, including 10 back-to-school fairs. We distributed 25,143 pieces of informational material written by CCH staff. We provided 24 free trainings to 606 service providers and educators.
The Law Project can be reached weekdays on its toll-free helpline: 1 (800) 940-1119.
The helpline is staffed by Intake & Support Manager Christy Beretta, LCSW, with support from legal and social work interns.
Others on the Law Project staff are Legal Director Patricia Nix-Hodes, Associate Legal Director Beth Malik, Senior Attorney Arturo Hernandez, Education Attorney Alyssa Phillips, Staff Attorney Camilla Krauss, Family Attorney Thomas Edwards, Public Benefits Specialist Venus Rivera, and Senior Outreach and Case Worker Ali Simmons.
The Law Project receives project-based grant support from The Chicago Bar Foundation, the Illinois Bar Foundation, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, the Venable Foundation, and the Wohlers Family Foundation.
Youth Futures mobile legal aid clinic receives project-based support from the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, The Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation, and an anonymous family foundation.