Thirty homeless youth helped at free legal aid and ID clinic

Thirty homeless Chicago youth needing legal aid or help obtaining their birth records received services April 26, during a two-hour clinic organized by the CCH Law Project.

The clinic was staffed by CCH’s Youth Futures mobile legal clinic and by 27 volunteers, including attorneys, from Chase Bank. Teen Living Programs, 5501 S. Indiana Avenue, hosted the event.

Attorneys helped youth, ages 13 through 24, apply for birth certificates. They also helped unaccompanied youth apply for public benefits, such as Medicaid and SNAP food benefits, and advised youth with other legal needs.

Young people who become homeless often are forced to leave home without any ID documents, such as a birth certificate or Social Security card. Lack of identification presents a barrier to jobs and education. It is difficult to obtain a state ID card or driver’s license without these other forms of ID.

Wednesday’s legal clinic was the third in three years to be staffed by CCH and Chase staff as part of Chase’s “Day of Service” program. Prior Chase clinics held at North Side sites helped 28 to 30 youths.

“These special Chase clinics compliment the work of the Law Project,” said Patricia Nix-Hodes, CCH’s legal director. “Our Youth Futures clinic reached more than 2,300 youths through outreach last year, and closed 384 cases on behalf of 313 young clients.”

Lunch and Ventra cards were provided to participating youth. Service providers and teachers referred youth. They included McKinley-Lakeside High School, 2920 S. Wabash Ave., which bused a group of students to the clinic.

(Pictured above, volunteers at our July 2015 clinic.)

Promotional flier available here.