The Return of the Justice Circle

  • CCH Law Project staff members pose for camera
  • CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg & Homeless Youth Advocate, Jajuana Walker
By Michael Nameche, Director of Development

On May 9, supporters and allies of CCH’s Law Project gathered for the Justice Circle reception at the law offices of Baker McKenzie. The event celebrated the 20th anniversary of Youth Futures, CCH’s mobile legal aid clinic for young people experiencing homelessness.  

This was the first time that the Justice Circle has held an in-person event since 2019, and CCH is very grateful for all the returning support. Contributions from law firms, banks, and individuals raised over $60,000 to support the Law Project’s work. A list of our sponsors can be found here.  

At the event, some special recognition awards were presented. CCH recognized Baker McKenzie’s commitment to helping youth experiencing homelessness nationwide. The firm’s ongoing commitment to authoring Homeless Youth Handbooks has produced a critical resource in 13 states already, with more on the way. Baker McKenzie also partners with the National Network for Youth through their Justice in Action Pro Bono Initiative, which removes barriers that youth experiencing homelessness face when accessing identification documents. Firm partner Michael Lehrman accepted the award on Baker McKenzie’s behalf.  

CCH also recognized the ongoing efforts of Jajuana Walker, a former Law Project client and homeless youth advocate. Jajuana took her own personal struggles with housing insecurity, first experiencing homelessness at the age 18, and channeled her courage and wisdom into advocating to end housing discrimination and youth homelessness in Chicago. Jajuana fought against multiple barriers to housing access by serving as a plaintiff in successful housing discrimination and fair credit cases with CCH. 

Associate Director of the Law Project, Beth Malik, had this to say when presenting the award to Jajuana: “I had the privilege of working with Jajuana on both her housing and fair credit cases. The litigation was long, complicated, and mentally and emotionally taxing. During the process, despite many ups and downs over the course of 3 years, she never wanted to give up. She wanted to keep going not for herself, but to make sure that other homeless young people have better access to stable and long-term housing.” 

CCH is especially grateful to our event host, Baker McKenzie, for providing their fabulous space and handling all the event details so CCH could spend the evening focusing on the community of support that showed up.