Housing Counseling

Glory and her husband Isaac moved from Nigeria to America in 1993. The couple rented an apartment next to GLCU’s Chicago Uptown branch, where Isaac took care of all the household finances.

After Isaac passed in the spring of 2020, Glory fell behind on her rent. Her property management company had a history of not communicating well with tenants, which didn’t help. On top of that, after not making any rent payments for a year, Glory fell victim to scammers, leaving her virtually destitute.  

Once she understood she could be evicted, Glory made an appointment with the GLCU Foundation for Financial Empowerment. There, she met with John Borthwick, senior housing counselor. John helped Glory organize the necessary paperwork and even taught her how to access her email. Then, he helped her apply for the Illinois Rental Payment Program and tracked her application.

Throughout this time, John continued to help Glory navigate the application process, create an affordable budget with the income from her part time job, and talk about managing expenses once she was current on rent again.

Unfortunately, they soon found themselves hitting another roadblock. A payout error caused only $6,400 of Glory’s $8,200 balance to be paid in the summer of 2022. John tried to contact the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the property manager to fix the error, but once the payment had been received, they could not revisit the application.

Glory did her best to try and pay when she could, but the remaining balance kept growing and by the spring of 2023 she found herself in eviction court. John enlisted the help of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services to navigate court-based assistance but that too eventually led to a dead end based on eligibility. He kept looking up legal referrals and Glory continued to use any resource John provided to help her.

Thankfully, John’s tenacity paid off, and Glory eventually worked with Greater Chicago Legal Clinic to reach a settlement with her property manager, where she would pay a lump sum along with a little extra on her monthly rent. When she finally became current on her rent and shared the good news with John, she thanked him wholeheartedly, and said, “Since all of this trouble began, I’ve met different people that said they would try and help, but you are the only one that stuck with me through everything.”

Glory managed to get an extra shift at her job to meet the payments and is still working with John to make sure she is following the court order and managing her household budget. After fighting an uphill battle for two years together, they fondly refer to each other as a “good neighbor.”

If you or someone you know is in need of financial counseling assistance, you can learn more and schedule a free screening here.

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