Knowing who to turn to is often the first barrier people in poverty face when seeking out help with a legal matter. “If they don’t go to the right people, they usually end up losing or getting the run-around,” says Dennericka Brooks, Senior Attorney in LAF’s Housing Practice Group. “Since they’re from vulnerable communities, people aren’t listening to what their issues are to try to help them.”
That’s where dedicated attorneys like Dennericka come in. Her clients frequently turn to her for help with issues they’re facing that go well beyond the scope of her work in the Housing Practice Group, but she recognizes the value in taking time to listen to them. “It can be a way to identify other problems a client is facing that you may be able to resolve. It’s all intertwined in some way, so in order to help a family achieve some stability, it’s important to make time to just sit down and listen,” she says. With less resources and more work on her plate, however, making time is a challenge.
But if there’s a will there’s a way—at least, that’s Dennericka’s attitude. “When you have less resources, you’ve gotta dig deep.” For Dennericka, that means reminding herself why she wanted to work for an organization like LAF in the first place. Growing up poor, she saw her family struggle without help navigating a complex system or a voice advocating on their behalf. “I want to be that help—I want to be that voice.”
Your support enables hard-working attorneys like Dennericka to be a voice for those who need it most. Make your tax-deductible donation for 2016 at www.lafchicago.org.