When Shaniqua came to LSHV in 2020, she was in desperate need of help. Although Shaniqua was working and able to pay her rent faithfully – her living conditions were deplorable at best.
Shaniqua had been living in her apartment for several years and when she came to us during the pandemic, it was out of desperation. She had already come to LSHV for help in the past- help dealing with the same landlord. In 2017 the landlord was ordered to make necessary repairs and Shaniqua ultimately received an abatement on rent paid because of the living conditions. She thought all had been rectified and was satisfied that the landlord would do what he had been ordered to do so she could get on with her life. Unfortunately, the landlord never made the necessary repairs.
Fast-forward to 2020 and Shaniqua’s apartment is completely uninhabitable for her and her young daughter. Whenever it rained, water would come through the ceiling accompanied by maggots – literally dropping from the ceiling. Shaniqua was at her wits end and decided to look for help again. LSHV paired her with one of our volunteers, Pro Bono Lawyer Christopher Conroy. “Christopher was great. In the times I needed to vent or was frustrated, he just listened. He was almost like a partner and made me feel valuable. He gave me peace of mind.” said Shaniqua.
Christopher was able to negotiate a favorable outcome for Shaniqua and her daughter. Shaniqua now lives in a new building and has been able to complete her Master’s in Criminal Justice. Shaniqua believes “People should not be afraid or embarrassed to fight for their rights” – there are resources to help you get the results you need to move forward with your life.”
This is just one of the stories of the 5,239 housing cases we handled last year that impacted over 12,200 household members. Each year we keep thousands of low-income families in their homes, mostly households with children. Our attorneys provide free legal assistance to prevent foreclosures and halt evictions, preserving the most basic necessity of life – shelter – for as many families and individuals as possible. Although the majority of our services are provided by in-house staff, our pro-bono attorneys help with the overflow and with those cases we can’t take for one reason or another.
Hear more from the people we serve by clicking here!. To help your neighbors like Shaniqua and give others that “peace of mind” click here