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Impact Stories Published January 18, 2023

Staying In Her Childhood Home

Lenore Rogers’s mother lived in the same North Philadelphia rowhome for over 60 years. In 2015, she died unexpectedly and without a will, leaving Lenore to care for her childhood home – without legal title and without a lawyer’s help.

Lenore spent the next five years trying to take title on her own, but to no avail. “I never had anyone close to me die. I didn’t know I had to do any of this, or that I would have to pay for it. No one told me that,” Lenore said. “All of my neighbors, who I lived next to most of my life, were trying to help me. But they didn’t know what to do either. I had to learn all of this in one of the worst moments of my life.” Without legal title, Lenore had difficulty getting assistance to maintain the home, which she desperately wanted to do.

In 2022, after she managed to begin the probate process on her own, Lenore connected with Philadelphia VIP. Lenore’s VIP volunteer attorney, Grant Berger of Braskem, helped her draft and record a new deed granting her legal title. Grant even traveled to the home when it came time to sign the deed to ensure all went smoothly. Within a few months, Lenore officially had title to her childhood home. “We need services like VIP. Because without organizations like you, that do these services for free, I wouldn’t have my house in my own name. I wouldn’t be able to stay in the house and community I grew up in.”