Client Spotlight: Lizett Cruz

July 17, 2017

Lizett entered foster care at the age of fifteen following her mother’s sudden and tragic death resulting from a brain aneurysm (an autopsy later revealed that she also suffered from pancreatic cancer). Lizett and her mother were extremely close and Lizett was left reeling and devastated by the loss, saying that her mom ‘did everything for me.’ Lizett never knew her father who had passed away years before. Lizett continued living with her stepfather, but as she grieved, their relationship deteriorated and Lizett decided to leave home to move in with her boyfriend.

While still recovering from the loss of her mother, Lizett eventually came into the dependency system after a fight with her boyfriend that led to the police being called.   Lizett was placed in a foster home and came under the jurisdiction of the dependency court as she had no adults willing or able to care for her.  She was truly alone. 

Sadly, Lizett moved from foster home to foster home, feeling unhappy and without support. To heal her pain, she 
dedicated herself to her studies, taking online classes in addition to attending continuation school daily to complete the required units necessary to get her high school diploma. Lizett graduated in June of 2015 and soon after she moved to Texas and the Court closed her case.

However, shortly after moving to Texas Lizzett found that life on her own was not as easy as she had hoped it would be and in her case, she had no family or other support system to turn to.  Lizett reached out to CLC for support and wanting to re-open her case under Extended Foster Care (EFC). CLC Attorney Samyra Chequer immediately went to work on Lizett’s behalf, fighting to re-open her case in order to get funding to help Lizett pay for her housing in Texas and for other EFC benefits, but DCFS argued that her case should remain closed, and the case went to trial.

Samyra argued zealously on Lizett’s behalf, and ultimately DCFS agreed to work with Texas to provide Lizett with the support to which she is entitled. Lizett is now happily living in Texas and working as a waitress and a cashier and will soon be applying to nursing school. With the support of Samyra and the benefits of EFC, Lizett is now on her way toward self-sufficiency.