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Alyssa Phillips

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Alyssa Phillips

Alyssa Phillips

Name of Host Organization: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
City, State: Chicago, Illinois
Issue area: Education/Special Education
Sponsors: AbbVie, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Project

Advocate and provide legal assistance for the educational rights of homeless students in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs through outreach, community education and direct representation.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Homeless students face significant obstacles in accessing education, forced to transfer schools numerous times, and inability to get transportation to school. The suburbs of Chicago have seen a dramatic increase in poverty rates that accounted for almost half the statewide increase. Due to the needs and demand the CCH Law Project’s ability to serve suburban homeless students and ability to serve students trying to access selective enrollment schools and preschools is limited.
The Right Person For This Project

Alyssa is the right person for the project because she:
• Interned with the CCH Law Project’s Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), where she assisted homeless families in enrolling their children in preschool and conducted outreach at homeless shelters
• Worked for Building Roads to Intellectual Diversity and Great Education (BRIDGE) assisting low income high school students from the Chicago Land Area in accessing higher education

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Alyssa will:
• Research and create educational materials on best practices and guidelines to ensure homeless students receive the full protections and rights under the law
• Identify community partners and conduct outreach at Back to School fairs, with homeless liaisons, school administrators and community service providers in Chicago and the suburbs of Chicago
• Conduct intakes in Chicago and the suburbs of Chicago to aid homeless families