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Need financial assistance?

First, see if you qualify by using our online questionnaire:
Rent, SNAP or Utility AssistanceThen Call



(877) 426-6515

Suburban Cook

(847) 782-4000

Lake County

Catholic Charities Administrative Offices - (312) 655-7000.

Catholic Charities Social Services - email, or call (312) 655-7700 in Chicago or (847) 782-4000 in Lake County and someone will assist you. Call volume is extremely high so email is recommended if you are unable to find what you need on the web site.

Counseling Support Line - (312) 948-6951, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

To donate to our work by phone, call (312) 948-6087. Every gift helps someone in need.

About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (known as “CCLA”) is to provide access to compassionate and competent legal assistance to the economically disadvantaged in the Chicago area without regard to religious affiliation.

Mission Fulfillment

CCLA endeavors to fulfill its mission by providing various legal services to clients who live on a low income and cannot afford an attorney. As a part of Catholic Charities, CCLA is able to refer clients for assistance to other Catholic Charities social services programs and to provide legal assistance to existing clients of Catholic Charities.



Hilda Bahena, Catholic Charities Legal Assistance Department Director (LADD).   As the Department Director, Hilda is responsible for the day to day operations of the department, comprised of the Legal Services Program and the Volunteer and Pro Bono Program. The LADD ensures the delivery of legal advice, direct representation and referral services to the department’s clients on a wide range of legal issues.  In addition, Hilda is responsible for strategic planning, including providing leadership and direction in establishing both short and long term goals that are consistent with those of the legal aid community and Catholic Charities.   

Hilda joined CCLA after first working as a legal aid attorney in the states of California and Illinois for more than twelve years.  Hilda’s public interest experience spans a wide range of subject areas, including landlord/tenant, consumer, and immigration law.  She has developed a specific expertise in family law and legal issues related to domestic violence survivors and immigrant communities.  In addition, throughout her career, Hilda has developed trainings, forged collaboration among service providers, conducted extensive community outreach, and created programs to expand services.  Hilda is bilingual in Spanish.

Hilda received her Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law. 

Legal Assistance:

Ways to Change Lives


Phone: (312) 655-7525
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
PO Box 7154
Carol Stream, IL 60197-7154