“I help everybody that I talk to,” says Mona Green matter-of-factly. “If you call and I answer, I’m going to help you.”
An Intake Specialist in the Client Screening Unit, Mona is the first line of contact when an individual contacts LAF looking for legal assistance. She has the difficult job of determining a caller’s eligibility: asking them questions in regards to income and assets, geographical region, and the nature of their problem. From that information, she has to determine whether or not LAF is allowed to help the person, or if she has to direct them to another organization. The latter is sometimes emotionally difficult, but Mona makes the disappointment easier to take by making sure that she never leaves any caller without something.
“Help is not always setting up an appointment. It’s not always going to be making the problem go away or having the answer. Help can be listening, giving a referral, giving them advice. There are many resources available in Cook County, especially for family law. So if there’s a conflict of interest or if the person is over income limits or whatever, I share those resources and tell them how to go about narrowing the odds of them getting legal help. Everybody gets helped. It may not be what they want, but it’s something.”
In many ways, Mona embodies the principle at the core of LAF: helping those who no one else will. That help can come in different packages, but it’s always valuable and, in some way, it’s going to set the person up for a future solution. It’s going to be, as Mona said, “something.”
“You’re going to walk away with a little more than what you have when you called,” she promises.
With your help, we can make equal justice a reality. Your gifts support the work of Mona and everyone at LAF. Make your tax-deductible donation for 2015 to LAF at www.lafchicago.org.