Volunteer fights for reasonable accommodation
Stephen Murphy, CVLS Volunteer
Some CVLS clients desperately rely on housing assistance to keep from being homeless. Diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, Quentin has been receiving treatment, care and support for his mental illness for over 15 years. He is also a participant in the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA) Housing Choice Voucher Program, but he was recently at risk for termination for allegedly failing to pay rent. Despite Quentin telling the CHA about his diagnosis and habitability problems with his apartment, the CHA nevertheless found in favor of termination. Quentin came to CVLS for assistance in filing his petition for judicial review. CVLS placed his case with Stephen Murphy, a first time CVLS volunteer who set to work trying to resolve the case as quickly as possible. After paging through hundreds of medical records, Stephen submitted a Reasonable Accommodation Request to CHA, detailing Quentin’s long-time disability. The request itself asked CHA to resolve any future issues with payment of rent or evictions by contacting Quentin’s mental health support team. The CHA granted Stephen’s request and reinstated Quentin to the program. Quentin was incredibly thankful and is glad to have put his housing woes behind him, so he can focus on his mental health and school—he’s currently taking entry-level courses at a City College. We thank Stephen for his help on this case, and we wish Quentin a bright future.