WilmerHale Dramatically Shifts Family’s Future

a grandmother’s journey from hopelessness to homeowner

Linda had an empty nest when she got a call from a social worker: Her adult daughter was suffering from postpartum psychosis and Linda’s three grandchildren had been put into foster care. Linda immediately agreed to care for them and was told she’d have support and resources to help her do so. Soon after, she was incorrectly informed that she did not qualify. Without financial support, the family was soon homeless, relying on the generosity of relatives for food and shelter. Without a consistent home address, Linda couldn’t find work and without a stable home, the children found it hard to keep up in school.Linda struggled for seven long years to keep the family together and to meet their basic needs. She pleaded for some help but was denied. Her case came to the attention of the Alliance, and in stepped WilmerHale pro bono attorney Jessica Kurzban. Jessica and the WilmerHale team filed an appeal, and the judge found that the county had failed to provide proper funding and support for Linda’s grandchildren. He awarded the appropriate benefits, along with a back payment of $70,000 for the many years of lost financial support to which the family had been entitled.Linda’s and the childrens’ lives changed dramatically as a result of that award. Linda was able to buy a modest home, find a job and enroll the kids in after school activities while she was at work. The children are now flourishing and succeeding in school.
“These cases bring immediate gratification because you can see the positive change happen that has direct impact on a family’s life and basic needs.”

– Jessica Kurzban, WilmerHale