Chief Judge Evans announces new help desk to link eviction court litigants with social service providers Released on 5/10/2012 1:45:45 PM
Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and First Municipal District Presiding Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. have announced that the Circuit Court of Cook County, in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, has launched a social services referral desk that will link tenants facing eviction to affordable housing and other emergency assistance resources.
The Eviction Court Social Services Help Desk will serve tenant defendants who have had orders of eviction entered against them as judgements in cases heard in Chicago eviction court, formally known as the Forcible Entry and Detainer Section of the First Municipal District. Located in Room 1300 in the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, the Desk will operate every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Clients will be served on a first come, first served basis by a social service specialist who will identify resources, provide referrals, and pre-screen clients for public benefits eligibility.
Chief Judge Evans said Presiding Judge Wright will work with judges hearing eviction court matters to ensure that evicted tenants are referred to the Help Desk for assistance at the conclusion of their cases. Evans thanked the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing for bringing the idea for the Help Desk to his attention.
The program, which will operate as a pilot for one year, is made possible by a Venture Grant from the United Way and in-kind contributions from the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing will also use part of the grant money to produce a video on tenants’ and landlords’ rights.