This family was able to keep their housing with help from Legal Aid. "Laila" and her children have made their home in an apartment in Redwood City for seven years. The two younger children walk to elementary school every day, and the eldest daughter is on the swim team and the cheer team at the local high school. In the fall of 2016 the building was sold to new owners. On the day escrow closed, all the tenants received notice of a $200 rent increase, except Laila. She received a 60-day eviction notice that didn’t state a reason for the eviction. Laila told the landlord that she couldn’t move in 60 days and didn’t want her children to have to leave school in the middle of the school year. The new landlord said she could have an extra thirty days on condition that she pay the $200 rent increase the other tenants were absorbing, and an additional $500, for a total of $700. Laila was desperate and paid the new landlord $700. Laila came to one of Legal Aid’s three weekly housing clinics where she was interviewed in Spanish by a housing coordinator. Legal Aid contacted the landlord to find out why the family was being evicted and was told that the family was “messy.” When staff met with Laila in her apartment, they found it was in good condition and became suspicious that the landlord was discriminating against Laila because she had three children and was a single mother. The landlord filed an eviction case against Laila. Legal Aid fired back by vigorously contesting the eviction case, and threatening to file a discrimination case against the landlord. The landlord backed down, dismissed the case, and dropped his efforts to evict Laila and her children. They remain tenants in their home and the children continue to attend their schools. Client names and other details have been changed for reasons of privacy
This boy found a path to reading with help from Legal Aid. Client names and other details have been changed for reasons of privacy Reading wasn’t easy for 5th grader "Zeke." While his classmates were choosing chapter books for quiet reading time, he was choosing picture books, hoping none of his friends would notice. Zeke’s teacher knew he was struggling and put him into a small reading group, but that wasn't working. Zeke’s mother was concerned. Zeke’s older sister hadn’t had the same kind of problems when she learned to read. When Zeke’s mother told the pediatrician at Gardner Packard Children’s Health Center (Gardner) about Zeke’s reading struggles, the doctor referred her to the Peninsula Family Advocacy Program (FAP), a medicallegal partnership between Legal Aid, Gardner, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and other clinics in the county. FAP provides free legal services to children, pregnant women and their families to help address the social determinants of health, including education issues. The FAP attorney immediately began to advocate with the school district on behalf of Zeke’s mother. In the past, Zeke's mother had asked Zeke's school for a special education assessment, to see if he had a learning disability, but the school had declined. As a result of the attorney's advocacy, the school finally agreed to the assessment. After a thorough assessment, it was determined that Zeke had a learning disability and was only reading at a 2nd grade level. The FAP team recommended an outside reading intervention program that specializes in working with children who have reading disabilities. FAP was optimistic that Zeke, who was a hard worker and eager to improve his reading, would thrive with this type of reading intervention. After negotiations were complete, Zeke began his program as soon as school concluded for the year. Now, Zeke’s mother reports that her son has made tremendous strides in his summer intensive program and is excited to be closer to be reading just like his peers at middle school this fall.