During the summer of 2018, the attorneys at LCD were fortunate to have assistance through Jesse Grainger, a Social Work intern from the University of Pennsylvania. While Jesse was invaluable over the course of his internship, one case best illustrates the need for this type of assistance and collaboration.
Nicole came to LCD through its Landlord/Tenant intake line. Through this line, Staff Attorney Evan Barker was able to represent the client in court. Nicole was living in Section 8 housing that was in very poor shape. Additionally, due to the client’s disability, she was unable to easily make it to court, or to go out into the community to try to locate new housing.
Evan represented Nicole in court, which she was unable to attend due to her disability. Through phone calls, Evan was able to enter into an agreement that provided the client with a substantial amount of time, and a savings on the total amount that was being sought. After returning from court, Evan handed the case over to Jesse. Jesse worked tirelessly with the client to locate housing that, 1) accepted Section 8, 2) was Accessible, 3) was in a neighborhood in which the client was comfortable.
After locating a property, Jesse went to visit and first ensured that it met the necessary criteria. Having identified the best property for Nicole’s needs, Jesse began looking for rental assistance. He was able to coordinate with Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services to provide assistance with her move. Finally, Jesse helped coordinate the logistics and timing of the move.
The process of working out agreements and giving advice are relatively straightforward aspects of Landlord/Tenant practice. Follow through, and having someone to stick with a case are far greater issues. Having a dedicated team working with staff attorneys is vital to a successful end results for clients.