In our agreed upon division of labor, I check email once per week for any new tenants who are reaching out to us asking for support. By default, I will be the one who keeps up with your emails. There is no guarantee I will respond every week. But it’s possible communication could become more frequent through email or other means. Please email tenantsunitedhpwl [at] gmail [dot] com for continued conversation if you are able to.
A general caution we throw out there is that it’s important to try to navigate the conflict in a way that won’t result in the landlord filing an actual eviction to Cook County Court because that makes it very hard for someone to rent again in Chicago. I emphasize the word actual because sometimes landlords create fake eviction notices to terrify tenants, because sometimes there’s misunderstanding of whether an eviction has been filed or not, and also because sometimes landlords don’t file them correctly. So being in good communication with us within a mutual aid framework could be very helpful for you.
Do you feel comfortable saying where you live in case we happen to know anyone near you who can work with you more closely?
We meet virtually on 2nd and 4th Saturdays right now where you’re welcomed to drop in from 1030-1130am to get help troubleshooting your issue. There’s just so much to talk about that email, text, or one-on-one phone call isn’t a practical way to discuss this.
Before giving that virtual meeting information, it is important I note that up until now, we do not get paid to help fellow union members or tenants who approach us who are not members of the union. We are volunteers. We do not have a paid staff. We’ve come together because there isn’t paid staff in Chicago who can help us like we’ve been able to help ourselves through this union. Please enter our space with respect and understanding that we are volunteers with limited capacity whose priority is to work with tenants who try to work with other tenants. We simply do not have capacity to help a tenant who does not seek cooperation with their neighbors. If you do not want to work with your neighbors and work with them respectfully, there’s a chance we are not the group for you (we are willing to hear exceptions).
That being said, you can have someone else hop in to advocate for you if you’re not able to show. Zoom information is below.
Meeting ID: 897 2112 9481
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,89721129481#,,,,*828788# US (Chicago)
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
I am rarely able to troubleshoot outside of the 4th Saturdays, including via email, since I focus my work among tenants who practice mutual aid and understand it’s a two way street. My availability on 4th Saturdays is to practice some solidarity with new tenants to give them opportunities to begin to practice mutual aid with other tenants. I cannot speak to others’ capacity.
LCBH.org is another org that could possibly help you. But I strongly recommend anyone who deals with any organizations get second opinions from us about what the other org(s) are doing in order to ensure you understand the options being presented before you, as well as those that are not. Organizations, even long-standing organizations, are run by people who make mistakes and sometimes they have frequent employee turnover, which can diminish the quality of support you get. Also, it’s easy for people to misinterpret any advice given or action taken in the realm of these very confusing landlord-tenant laws.
April 5th 2022