Photo of Kaitlin Cutshaw

Kaitlin Cutshaw

  • Hosted by Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing
  • Sponsored by Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Issue area Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Kaitlin will promote housing and educational stability for children negatively impacted by eviction, through direct representation and policy reform.

Studies show that eviction is a cause of poverty, not a condition. Families who experience eviction have higher rates of residential mobility and often experience prolonged homelessness. Children in these families perform worse in school, losing an average of three months of reading and math growth with each transfer. High rates of student mobility can also negatively impact students who stay as well as the community at large. Neighborhoods with high eviction rates have difficulty maintaining social capital, lack local cohesion, and have little community investment.

Before attending law school, Katie worked with Teach For America in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago where she spent three years there teaching children ages 8-18 everything from math to social studies. Through this experience, she gained an intimate understanding of how critical housing is to a child’s educational success. Katie eventually left the classroom to positively impact the lives of low-income families, like those of her former students, on a higher level.

Fellowship Plans

The project will establish a clinic to provide direct legal services to parents facing eviction, or at risk of being evicted. The project also aims to collect data on the clinic’s impact on housing and student mobility in the community, which will be used to support a city-wide ordinance banning no-fault evictions of school-aged children during the school year.

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