June 2014 eNewsletter

At our Annual Luncheon this month, we celebrated another great year of providing free legal services to the community of Cook County.  In our June eNewsletter, you can read about all the great stories we told at the Luncheon, as well as the 2013 Annual Report we premiered that day.  You can also read about our YPB partners at Veritext, and about our upcoming Golf Outing this fall.
And if you were unable to attend the Luncheon, you can still support the great work LAF is doing every day to help the most vulnerable people in our community.  Your investment in us is an investment in people who get clients back on their feet by providing first-rate legal help.

Read the 2013 Annual Report

Wrapping up our Luncheon recap this week, we wanted to share with you our 2013 Annual Report, which made its debut at the Luncheon.  It is available here and on our website.
In it, you can read more about Kevin, whose story we shared at the Luncheon and on this blog yesterday, as well as people like Chantée, for whom we secured a lease for her wheelchair-accessible apartment, and Rosa, a victim of human trafficking who is now living in Chicago with her daughter free from abuse.  You can also see our list of major donors from 2013.  And if you haven’t had the chance to secure your place on that list for 2014, you can make a contribution online today.

Kevin’s Story

Every year at the Luncheon, we like to have one of our clients tell their story in their own words.  Kevin Lorick was this year’s client speaker, and his story is one we’re proud to share.

Kevin is a U.S. Army veteran and a single father to his young daughter Jordan. Unfortunately, like too many veterans, Kevin struggled to find a place for his skills in the civilian sector. He lived at the poverty line for years and never had enough money to go through the process to obtain legal custody of Jordan, who has been in his care since she was a month old. Things seemed to be looking up when he was accepted into the VA’s Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which would pay him a subsidy while he went back to school so he could finish his degree and make a new start for himself and Jordan. Kevin tried to apply for a veteran-specific housing voucher, but was turned down because he lacked legal proof that Jordan was his daughter.  With LAF’s help, a judge granted Kevin’s request for a formal order of paternity and sole custody of Jordan, and they were able to move into a new apartment. Now Kevin can once again focus on finishing his degree and getting a job to continue to provide for Jordan. He says he is excited to be a strong role model for Jordan, because “by seeing me in college, she will know that she can accomplish anything!”

At the Luncheon, Kevin thanked the supporters of LAF like you, who “actually care about others and keep LAF’s doors open to help people in less fortunate situations obtain great and sometimes life changing legal assistance.”  We are proud of Kevin’s success, and grateful for his willingness to share his story.  He and Jordan were a big hit at this year’s event!

“Our Job is About Telling the Truth.”

DSC_3551On Friday, June 13, 2013 at our Annual Luncheon, LAF presented the Jerold S. Solovy Equal Justice Award to Miriam Hallbauer, our Senior Attorney for Complex Litigation.  This award is given annually to one attorney on LAF’s staff whose work embodies what it means to be a poverty lawyer.  We are so proud of Miriam, and can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor.  The photo here is Miriam accepting her award from her coworker Jennifer Payne.

Read her speech below, and we think you’ll understand how important Miriam is to our work at LAF:

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Americorps VISTA Coordinator Job Opportunity

LAF has an exciting opportunity for an AmeriCorps VISTA to fill the position of Volunteer Coordinator.  LAF’s VISTA Volunteer Coordinator will work directly with the Director of Volunteer Services to increase LAF’s capacity to serve clients by engaging and supporting attorney and non-attorney volunteers. The VISTA will work to streamline volunteer onboarding procedures, help implement a volunteer management database, and plan volunteer recognition events.  Applications are open only until next Friday, June 20th

Job description: This position will be filled by an AmeriCorps*VISTA member. To qualify for AmeriCorps*VISTA, you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident. LAF’s VISTA Volunteer Coordinator works directly with the Director of Volunteer Services to increase LAF’s capacity to serve clients by engaging and supporting attorney and non-attorney volunteers. The Volunteer Coordinator will have three primary projects: 1) Streamlining and standardizing the process of onboarding volunteers at LAF, including designing and delivering training; 2) Assisting in the design, implementation and support of new volunteer management software, and 3) Supporting and implementing LAF’s volunteer recognition efforts including executing LAF’s annual Volunteer Recognition Party and coordinating the nomination of LAF volunteers for local and national awards.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree is required for this position. In addition, the VISTA must have:

  • Highly developed organizational skills
  • Confidence in speaking to groups of professionals
  • Experience coordinating volunteers
  • Experience organizing and implementing trainings
  • Experience planning and executing events
  • Outgoing and positive demeanor

Other Considerations: This is a 365-day position, with the possibility of extension or renewal of up to one year. Individuals are not able to hold another paying position while serving as an AmeriCorps*VISTA, but are able to pursue education as long as it does not interfere with service responsibilities and is approved by a supervisor.

Program Benefits: A living allowance ($1,026/month), choice of Education Award ($5,550) or End of Service Stipend ($1,500) upon successful completion of service; childcare assistance, if eligible; health coverage and life insurance; relocation allowance; and professional development opportunities. In addition, LAF provides a monthly CTA transit pass and a $200/month rental supplement.

Term of service: August 15, 2014-August 16, 2015. The exact start date will be determined by the AmeriCorps*VISTA program.

To Apply: The deadline to apply is June 20, 2014. All applicants must apply through MyAmericorps. If technical troubles with the website arise, please email egrantier@lafchicago.org or call 312.347.8373.