Chicago, Ill. – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is excited to partner with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) to provide free legal services for their patients that are low and moderate income renters. PCC engaged in this medical-legal partnership with the understanding that housing conditions can seriously impact a person’s health.
The LCBH values this intersection of health and housing. They have been helping Chicago renters since 1980. One of their newest fellows, Attorney Nathan Nash, is on site at PCC Austin Family Health Center each Tuesday. PCC’s providers refer patients to Nash or patients contact him directly. He assists clients with eviction proceedings and helps address substandard housing conditions. Living with mold, lead, bedbugs, or mice can cause health problems such as asthma, lead poisoning, and allergic reactions.
While a student at Yale Law School, Nash directed the law school’s medical-legal partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital and HAVEN Free Clinic. Today he works with a team of attorneys at LCBH. Together they write letters to landlords, defend clients in court, and help them buy more time to look for a new place to live, if necessary.
Many lower income tenants simply do not have the means to hire a lawyer to force their landlord to make necessary repairs or pay the utility bills. But tenants do have rights, and LCBH attorneys consider it a privilege to provide services.
Committed to housing justice, Nash enjoys “working at a medical-legal partnership because it brings together the best of both professions to improve patients’ health and wellbeing. The model allows us to address patient-client housing issues before they lead to a crisis, like an emergency room visit or eviction.” He says, “It is rewarding to work with PCC patients and providers to address the root cause of patients’ symptoms creatively, affirmatively, and quickly.” Since August, he has assisted close to 50 PCC patients.
PCC is pleased with its partnership with LCBH and will continue to look for innovative ways to improve the health of residents in the Austin community, where PCC has been providing health care services for over 35 years. For more information about PCC Austin Family Health Center, or to schedule a medical appointment, please call (773) 378-3347. The clinic is located at 5425 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60644.