Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor to Connections for the Homeless on zoning and permitting matters and the eventual purchase of The Margarita European Inn in Evanston, IL, to further the nonprofit organization’s mission to address homelessness.
Connections has operated out of the former hotel since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing up to 65 residents in its 40 rooms and providing three meals a day year-round along with laundry, medical, and counseling services. Services are designed to give residents the chance to move on to more permanent housing, which 86% of those served did last year.
Through the purchase of the Margarita, Connections will have the necessary infrastructure to deliver services as a leader in a national movement to provide interim housing, including onsite health care, case management, and employment services that move unhoused neighbors into long-term housing solutions.
For nearly 40 years, Connections for the Homeless has served and catalyzed the community to end homelessness, one person at a time. Each year, Connections provides eviction prevention, shelter, and housing services to 4,000 people from across north suburban Cook County. Beyond providing direct services, Connections also operates a robust advocacy and community organizing program to address the root causes of homelessness.
The Foley team was led by partner Donna Pugh and included partner William McKenna, special counsel Michael Noonan, and land use planner Steven Guerry. Partner Eric Haab, a long-term patron of Connections, provided the introduction to the land use team.