Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) has received a $150,000 commitment from the Nicor Gas Foundation to ensure equal access to justice under the law for underrepresented residents in Will and Winnebago Counties.

This grant will allow PSLS to continue to provide legal advice, advocacy, and court representation services to promote job readiness and safeguard stable housing. For example, PSLS will offer services to assist with expungement and sealings of criminal records, certifications of good conduct, healthcare waivers and driver’s license reinstatements, as well as provide legal assistance on unfair evictions, loss of subsidies, sealing records and reducing owed rent.

“Prairie State Legal Services is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Nicor Gas Foundation and their commitment to giving back to local communities,” said Jennifer Luczkowiak, Attorney and Director of Development at PSLS. “This grant will help change the lives of community members who may not otherwise be able to find help.”

“We are committed to supporting economic justice in our communities, and understand that across northern Illinois, many people cannot secure housing or employment without equal access to legal aid,” said Meena Beyers, vice president of Business and Community Development at Nicor Gas. “We are proud to support Prairie State Legal Services’ mission to remove these barriers in our communities while increasing physical and financial stability for our neighbors.”

In 2021, PSLS successfully completed 144 cases related to job readiness and 949 cases related to housing stability in Will and Winnebago Counties, while leveraging its relationships with social service agencies and local charities to provide additional non-legal services to its clients.