To help older Americans navigate the court system, a new service is available for Cook County residents – 60 years of age and older. It’s called the Elder Justice Center, located on the lower level of the Richard J. Daley Center on Randolph and Clark.
Free of charge, volunteer counselors will meet with you to analyze any problems or concerns you have with a court case or individuals or organizations that are preying on senior citizens. Kathryn Huber, a Loyola University Law student who’s also getting a Masters Degree in Social Work, is among the many volunteers who make this effort work.
“This is a great resource with the community,” Huber says. “So I’m really excited to be involved on the ground floor.”
The volunteers can’t offer legal advice or representation. But they can figure out WHO in the community can help – and refer clients. For senior citizens, not sure who they should turn to, experts say finding the right legal aid agency is half the battle.
Caroline Manley and her Center for Disability & Elder Law can help with evictions.
“Seniors who live in a subsidized apartment, they have a section 8 voucher, and now they’re being evicted. We step in because we dont want this to happen.”
Judge Patricia Banks says none of this would have been possible, if not for the vision of Chief Cook County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Evans and the many volunteers who staff the center. Banks spent two years researching other efforts across the country, to see how the Cook County Circuit court could do more to help needy seniors.
Open Monday thru Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the newly opened Justice Center stands ready to lend support or answer questions free of charge, to help reduce the stress that comes with court cases.
The center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m and is located in the Daley Center at 50 W Washington St. You can contact them at 312-603-9233. For more info, log on to cookcountycourt.org