Lisa Parsons, Program Director
Lisa has devoted her career to ending homelessness and is one of the nation's foremost experts in trauma-informed legal care. She has led Illinois' first behavioral health MLP -- the Homeless Outreach Project -- since 2007, bringing it to Legal Council in January 2014. Lisa and her team conduct outreach on the streets, in shelters, and in partnership with behavioral health providers to assist homeless individuals with dual diagnoses to secure Social Security disability benefits and connect them to healthcare, housing, and supportive services. She also serves on the Chicago SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery) Steering Committee. After earning her law degree, she served as project director of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Homeless Advocacy Project, before accepting a similar position at Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (LAF). She later directed a joint law and social services project at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic to assist persons with serious mental illness to secure services in the least restrictive environment, obtain disability benefits, and defend against discrimination in housing. In 2004, Lisa researched and produced two reports for the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois on public benefits and housing law issues affecting low-income households. She is a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of the Law.