In 2006, Mr. C. lost his job as a result of the economic downturn. In 2008, Mr. C. became homeless because he had spent his savings trying to maintain his apartment while searching for new employment. Although he had over 25 years of work experience in the public and private sectors, Mr. C. faced an obstacle to obtaining new employment—a conviction on his background—that impeded his efforts to find a job.
In 2008, Mr. C. connected with Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) and St. Vincent de Paul Center’s Outreach Program. He received housing and supportive services, completed a basic computer training program, and continued seeking employment.
In 2010, Mr. C. moved out of LPCS and into a subsidized apartment upon gaining full-time employment. He started volunteering for two local organizations in his neighborhood and starting working on his GED. For the past 3 ½ years, Mr. C. maintained his apartment and his full time job while being acknowledged with several outstanding customer service awards, and continued his volunteer service.
In the fall of 2013, Mr. C.’s employer announced the company would be closing at the end of the year, with no plans to accommodate the affected workers. Although unemployment was imminent, Mr. C. did not want to risk losing his housing. With support from Outreach Program staff, Mr. C. began to work on securing new employment but again faced the obstacle of having the conviction show up on background checks. After a job offer was rescinded, Outreach staff referred Mr. C. to the Cabrini Green Legal Aid through their Help Desk at the Daly Center to petition for engagement.
Mr. C. recently learned his request for expungment was granted. He now confidently continues with his employment search, and has already applied for several jobs. He credits Outreach connecting him to expungement assistance for his new-found ability to gain employment without the stigma of a record.