We are thrilled to announce that Cheryl Lawrence, JD, officially joined Open Communities as our CEO on December 1.
Cheryl comes to Open Communities with executive-level experience in both the non-profit and business sectors. She served for many years as the Executive Director at Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, one of Illinois's preeminent housing and legal-aid organizations. Her many years of leadership experience will help us expand our efforts to provide fair and better housing opportunities for all families on the North Shore.
"To live in housing free of discrimination is a human right. To live in a community where this is possible is transformative. I am honored to be named the next CEO of Open Communities. I look forward to working with their dedicated team of advocates to continue the fight for housing in our communities to be accessible, equitable, and welcoming to all," says Cheryl.
As CEO, Lawrence will lead our organization at a time when demand for fair housing and housing counseling is at a high point. We have seen a record number of requests for services due to Covid-19, and we don't see that coming to an end soon. We anticipate landlord-tenant mediation and rental and mortgage assistance requests to continue to grow in 2022.
"Cheryl's leadership and legal experience are exactly what we need at this time to continue to protect families from unfair housing practices, eviction, and foreclosure. We know her passion will strengthen the organization and allow us to do even more housing justice and advocacy work," says Carol Golder, Open Communities' Board President.
All of us at Open Communities look forward to Cheryl leading our organization for many years to come. Look for more from Cheryl in an upcoming blog post.