We are the only national organization dedicated solely to using the power of the law to end and prevent homelessness and to protect the rights of people experiencing homelessness.

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The Law Center is the only national organization dedicated solely to using the power of the law to end and prevent homelessness through training, advocacy, impact litigation, and public education.

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The Law Center works tirelessly for a world where everyone has a place to call home. Real solutions are backed by expert research and we have a multitude of resources available to combat homelessness.

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1510, 2019

IJT – October 2019

October 15th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, Newsletters, Uncategorized|0 Comments

October 2019 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— In the District of Columbia, our organizational home, thousands of unaccompanied minors experience homelessness each year. They may have legal rights that give them access to health care, housing, and education, and that protect them from arrest for truancy and other status crimes. But they are unlikely to often know what those are or how to assert them. That’s why we’ve partnered with pro bono legal teams [...]

1709, 2019

IJT – September 2019

September 17th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, Newsletters, Uncategorized|0 Comments

September 2019 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— “Homelessness is a disgrace.” As someone who has spent over three decades working to end homelessness in America, I couldn’t agree more with this recent statement from President Trump. But the ideas under consideration for addressing it, outlined in a new white paper from the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, are deeply concerning. Homelessness is a crisis, not just in California, where the President seems to be [...]

1709, 2019

White House Policy Paper on Homelessness Misrepresents Evidence, Drives Wrong Conclusions

September 17th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, Press Releases, Uncategorized|0 Comments

White House Policy Paper on Homelessness Misrepresents Evidence, Drives Wrong Conclusions FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Karianna Barr 202-638-2535, Ext. 118 kbarr@nlchp.org (September 17, 2019, Washington, DC)—On Monday evening, President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors released a white paper that ignores and directly contradicts the evidence-based consensus of 19 of his own agencies.  Last year, those agencies published the Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness, stating that housing, low barrier shelter, and decriminalization is the best way to end homelessness. “The [...]

1209, 2019

Trump Administration’s Plan to Crack Down on Homeless Encampments Raises Alarms

September 12th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, Press Releases, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Trump Administration’s Plan to Crack Down on Homeless Encampments Raises Alarms FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Crystal Letona Communications Associate 202-638-2535 x109 – cletona@nlchp.org (September 12, 2019, Washington, DC) – On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that President Trump ordered White House officials to “crack down” on homeless encampments in California. While the Law Center agrees that unsheltered homelessness is a crisis in California and across the country, we are concerned about the Administration’s plans to displace people without real [...]


And Why It Matters

The Law Center works in a variety of arenas to help the nation’s 3.5 million people who are experiencing homelessness and its many inhumane effects.

The number one cause of homelessness is lack of affordable housing. The number of renters with extremely low incomes far surpasses the number of available affordable rental units. A 2012 study found only 5.8 million rental units affordable to the more than 10 million households that identify as extremely low income. After paying rent and utilities, 75% of those households end up with less than half of their income to pay for necessities such as food, medicine, transportation, or childcare.

We are the only national legal group dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness. We expand access to affordable housing, meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk, and strengthen the social safety-net through

  1.     Policy advocacy;
  2.     Public education;
  3.     Impact litigation; and
  4.     Advocacy training and support

We believe all human beings have the right to a basic standard of living that includes safe, affordable housing, healthcare, and freedom from discrimination and cruelty.

Our proven method of first-rate legal advocacy on issues of housing and homelessness has a tremendous impact.

  • People experiencing homelessness in the Ninth Circuit can now rest without fearing arrest due to a successful ruling in Martin v. Boise.
  • Since launching the #IAskForHelpBecause effort as part of the Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign, nearly 60 cities have repealed or ceased enforcement of bans on panhandling, protecting the First Amendment-protected right to ask for help.
  • We ensure homeless students’ right to education under the McKinney-Vento Act through impact litigation, training, and resources.

Our work is not finished until every person has a safe, permanent place to call home. And your support is crucial. In 2017, the Law Center leveraged over $6 million in donated legal services, which means every dollar you donate is multiplied six times over. And there are many ways to give:

  • Financial contributions can be made at www.nlchp.org/donate.
  • Shopping on Amazon? You can help the Law Center at no cost to you! If you shop at this link and select the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, AmazonSmile donates a portion of your total purchase to the Law Center. Learn more here.
  • With the click of a button, your daily purchases can make a positive impact on others at no cost to you. If you shop online, iGive organizes thousands of different donation policies at many of your favorite stores to make them applicable to your purchases. Learn more here, or go directly to the iGive page.
  • Law firms interested in providing pro bono legal services, please visit www.nlchp.org/leap.
  • Check for volunteer opportunities here.


“My family suffered terribly during the German occupation of Greece in World War II, and as a child I heard my parents’ stories of starvation, deprivation and loss—as well as courageous resistance—on an almost nightly basis. I wanted to use the relative privilege of my life to fight for a world where no one has to suffer the injustice of dire poverty.” 

Maria Foscarinis, Founder and Executive Director

“As the daughter of a disabled father and an immigrant mother, I grew up poor and I know well the barriers to success imposed by poverty. I became a public interest attorney, and the Housing Program Director at the Law Center, to break down those barriers and to provide every person – people just like me – with the chance to thrive.”

Tristia Bauman, Senior Attorney

“My father grew up homeless, as a refugee following WWII. I believe every person deserves to be treated with the same dignity and respect for basic human rights as I would have wanted to see him and his family receive.”

Eric Tars, Legal Director

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