If Legal Aid Disappeared...
You pay attention to the news, right?  Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the world is filled with nothing but pain and destruction?

It can be easy to feel hopeless, but we can stop bad things from happening to good people. Bad things like:
  • Families losing their homes and ending up on the streets;
  • Women being trapped in violent relationships;
  • Elderly homeowners getting scammed by predatory contractors;
  • Parents losing care for their critically ill child because of a bureaucratic mistake.
The organizations supported by the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation have helped clients in all of these situations and many, many more. The civil justice system is a powerful tool for stopping devastating events. Don’t’ we have a responsibility to use it to bring about good in the world?  READ MORE
Legal Aid Helps Keep Daycare in Business
Savannah is a hardworking-mother and caretaker. She runs an in-home daycare in order to be able to provide for her 8-year old son, Oliver. Because Oliver has behavioral and eating disorders, Savannah must take him to regular medical appointments. These frequent trips to the doctor made running an in-home daycare difficult—but closing the daycare was not an option since it was Savannah’s only source of income. Savannah reached out to the Legal Council for Health Justice, an organization that provided her with support when she found out she was HIV positive.  READ MORE
Board Member Spotlight: Katie Gerdes


Kathleen O. Gerdes currently serves as the Managing Director of Marketing and Client Relations for Harris Associates LP.  Katie has been in her current position for the past decade and is in charge of platform/intermediary relationships for Harris and the Oakmark Family of mutual funds.

Katie resides in Hyde Park with her husband and 5-year old son and has been an active member of the community. She and her husband, John, opened the Revival Theater earlier in 2016 with a goal of bringing comedy improvisation back to its birthplace in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
What motivated you to serve on the Board of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation?
My good friend and fellow Board member Jennifer Shaw introduced me to this organization and I was amazed at all of the good work this group has facilitated within the Illinois community. I’m thrilled to be a small part of this positive action.

When you talk to legislators and other stakeholders about the importance of state funding for legal aid, what is your 15-second elevator pitch?
When you provide access to legal aid for our Illinois residents, we are offering an on-ramp to fair and equal housing options, educational opportunities and family safety. Too often a legal solution is overlooked because of lack of access to services. Small problems get bigger, more expensive and harder to solve. Let’s make things better for all of our Illinois residents by providing enhanced legal access now.

What is your personal philosophy on what should be done about civil legal aid?
Expand services, evaluate providers, execute on mission.  READ MORE
Image: Lady Justice at Dublin Castle
Copyright © 2017, All rights reserved.

Image: Mother and Son
Copyright @2017,  All rights reserved.

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