A Few Words from Tim Hufman

On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at our Annual Luncheon, LAF presented Supervisory Attorney Tim Hufman with the Jerold S. Solovy Equal Justice Award.  This award is given annually to one attorney on LAF’s staff whose work embodies what it means to be a poverty lawyer.  We could not have picked someone better to honor, this year, than Tim Hufman.

After reading his acceptance speech, we think you’ll agree:

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“You never think it can happen to you, but it can.”

On Tuesday, June 18, LAF client Yvonne Daily got up and told her story to over 500 people in a crowded ballroom.  We are pretty sure there wasn’t a person in the room, by the time she finished, who wasn’t profoundly moved by what she had to say.  Her speech is below.


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New LAF Video

You may have noticed that our Facebook and blog have been relatively quiet over the past week.  We’ve been busy.  June 18th was our Annual Luncheon, which is LAF’s largest fundraising event of the year.  It was a smashing success.  When we get photos, we’ll post them here for you to see and share, and we’ll spend the next few days recounting some of the stories we told, the stories we heard, and the people we honored.

But first, we wanted to share the video Gary Yordon produced for us.  Gary is so committed to the work we do that he donated his services.  The video captures our clients’ stories in their own words, highlights our supporters and staff, and explains why our work matters.  We are thrilled with the work Gary’s done for us, and more than 550 people at the Luncheon loved it.  We’re so excited to share it with you.

You can watch it below or see it on Youtube here.  Enjoy!


In Memory of Bill Kolen


We are sad to share the news of Bill Kolen’s death.  

In his 30-year career, Bill was an unstoppable advocate for LAF and our clients.  His presence in our office changed the lives of so many of Chicago’s poorest neighbors and brought smiles to the faces of coworkers and friends.  His leadership and passion for his work stayed unstoppable until the end, and he will be sorely missed.

Our friends at Illinois Legal Aid Online posted this video of him yesterday.  You can read his obituary and learn about funeral arrangements, services, and shiva here.  In lieu of flowers, you can donate to LAF in his memory by clicking here.

Please visit our facebook page to read more as stories unfold and friends, co-workers, and family share their memories, and leave your own memories of Bill’s life and legacy on our wall.

Challenging an Unconstitutional Hospital Charity Care Law

This week, one of LAF’s attorneys, Carrie Chapman, filed a lawsuit claiming a new definition of charity care for tax-exempt hospitals violates the Illinois state constitution.

This AP story profiles her clients and the suit they’re currently arguing.  Carrie explains that  to be considered a non-profit hospital, and to gain the tax-exempt status that goes with that, the hospital must give free services to patients who cannot afford to pay for them.  She argues that the new definitions in the revenue code “impermissibly and unconstitutionally broadened” the definition of what hospitals need to do to qualify for these tax exemptions, at the cost of the poorest members of our community.

We’re proud of the work she is doing for LAF’s clients and their communities.  Way to go Carrie!