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We are the only national organization dedicated 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 is constantly in the news, and this is where you can find it. We are leading experts sought by national & international publications such as the New York Times, Associated Press, and the BBC.

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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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LATEST NEWS & INFORMATION

Check out our very latest news, research, legal challenges, and work. Something here for everyone.

1403, 2019

LA Homeless Services Authority Adopts Progressive Policy for Unsheltered Homelessness

March 14th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, Press Releases|0 Comments

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Adopts New Guiding Principles and Practices for Unsheltered Homelessness NLCHP Contact: Cassidy Waskowicz  Acting Director of Development & Communications cwaskowicz@nlchp.org 202-638-2535 ext 105 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 7, 2019, Los Angeles, CA) – On February 28, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) adopted new policy that calls for decriminalizing life-sustaining survival actions of the more than 40,000 Los Angelenos who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The policy, entitled Guiding Principles and Practices for Local Responses to Unsheltered Homelessness, outlines principles that affirm the civil [...]

2802, 2019

IJT – February 2019

February 28th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, Newsletters, Uncategorized|0 Comments

February 2019 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— February is Black History Month, but racism is a reality every month, and it permeates every aspect of American society. Homelessness and poverty are no exception. African Americans make up 12.4 percent of the general U.S. population, 23.5% of the total poverty population-and a staggering 42.6 percent of the U.S. homeless population. The disproportionate racial impact of poverty alone does not explain this even greater discrepancy within homelessness. [...]

1302, 2019

Advocacy Groups Take Legal Action on Florida Panhandling Bans

February 13th, 2019|Categories: Latest News, News Snippets, Press Releases|0 Comments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of advocacy organizations and pro bono attorneys are suing St. Johns County Sheriff David B. Shoar and Florida Highway Patrol Director Gene Spaulding on behalf of Peter Vigue, a St. Augustine resident who has been arrested by both law enforcement agencies for standing on the public right of way and holding a sign soliciting donations. The suit, filed on February 12, 2019, challenges the constitutionality of Florida statutes that prohibit individuals from soliciting charitable contributions on public streets and sidewalks without a local government permit [...]

1202, 2019

As Shutdown Puts Families at Risk of Homelessness, Federal Law Protects Children’s School Rights

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

As Shutdown Puts Families at Risk of Homelessness, Federal Law Protects Children’s School Rights Washington, DC, January 25, 2019 –  Over 2.5 millions children experience homelessness each year in the U.S., and advocates fear their ranks will increase due to the continuing government shutdown. As the 800,000 federal government employees currently furloughed or working without pay miss their second paycheck today, some will be unable to pay their rent or mortgage– putting them and their families at risk of homelessness. More than two million other low-income [...]

WHAT WE DO

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.

“We challenge laws that punish people for homelessness and poverty, and that make it even harder for them to find housing and jobs.”

Founder & Executive Director, Maria Foscarinis

IN OUR TEAM’S OWN WORDS

“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

“We have the resources to ensure everyone has a safe and secure home. Having a place to live provides the foundation to address so many other issues.”

Lisa DeBone, Development & Communications Associate

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