Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

Changing Laws, Changing Lives

aka NLCHP

Washington, DC

Mission

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is the only national organization dedicated solely to using the power of the law to prevent and end homelessness in America. With the support of an extensive network of pro bono lawyers, we use our legal expertise to help pass, implement and enforce laws addressing the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk. In partnership with state and local advocates, we work towards strengthening the social safety net through advocacy and advocacy training, public education, and impact litigation.

Notes from the Nonprofit

The Law Center works with an extensive network law firms and corporate legal departments that donate millions of dollars of pro bono legal services to support our programs each year. We benefited from over $6 million in pro bono legal support in 2017 alone.

Ruling Year

1989

Founder and Executive Director

Ms. Maria Foscarinis

Main Address

2000 M Street NW Suite 210

Washington, DC 20036 USA

Keywords

homelessness, homeless, poverty, education, advocacy, legal, civil rights

EIN

52-1633883

 Number

8579661183

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Public Interest Law/Litigation (I83)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty operates programs across the United States that serve America's more than 3.5 million homeless families, children and individuals. We believe that the right to a home and food and the rights of children to go to school lie at the heart of human dignity, and we envision a world where no one has to go without the basics of human survival.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Civil and Human Rights

Housing Rights

Children's Rights

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of advocate or trained spokesperson citations in the media

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Homeless people

Related program

Housing Rights

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

We are regualrly called upon by the media, and also issue press releases and op-eds, to educate the public and policymakers about homelessness and solutions to it.

Number of new advocates recruited

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Homeless people

Related program

Civil and Human Rights

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Our Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign reached 1,000 endorsers, including high profile law enforcement and city officials, to support our efforts to stop criminalizing homelessness in favor of housing.

Number of policies formally blocked

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Homeless people

Related program

Civil and Human Rights

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

We successfully advocated for repeal or modification of laws that criminalize homeless people for lifes ustaining activities--like sleeping--in public in the absence of alternatives.

Number of policies formally established

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Related program

Housing Rights

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

We secured 17 new laws or policies protecting housing rights for homeless and at risk people.

Number of research or policy analysis products developed, e.g., reports, briefs

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Homeless people

Related program

Civil and Human Rights

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

We published 5 major reports in 2019.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty aims to achieve a world where human beings have the right to a basic standard of living that includes safe, affordable housing, healthcare, and freedom from discrimination and cruelty. We work to 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. We envision an end to homelessness in America. A home for every family and individual will be the norm and not the exception---a right and not a privilege.

Through policy advocacy, public education, and impact litigation, the Law Center's national programs address the root causes of homelessness and meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We use our legal expertise to help pass, implement, and enforce laws addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Through training and technical support, the Law Center also enhances the capacity of local and national groups to become more effective voices for the needs and rights of homeless people.

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty's staff is comprised primarily of attorneys, which is unique in the national homeless advocacy space and gives us a complete understanding of how laws are passed, what they mean, and what their impact will be on individual people. Law Center attorneys are experts on homelessness and poverty issues and include specialists in housing, civil rights, human rights, youth and education, and domestic violence. The Law Center also utilizes a large network of pro bono attorneys at major law firms and corporate legal departments to help carry out our work.

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty examines its goals through a quarterly strategic scorecard, a tool used to monitor and measure progress towards achieving our strategic plan. Our scorecard focuses on our most important, long-range objectives; measures impact; and helps focus the organization's energy and resources on our goals. The scorecard is reviewed quarterly by staff and presented to the Board of Directors in order to measure progress. Progress is made when laws and policies, both at the national and local level, are changed toward providing greater support for homeless individuals and families.

Since the organization's founding in 1989, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty has accomplished numerous victories in the courts and in public policy on behalf of homeless Americans. The Law Center's founder, Maria Foscarinis, was a key architect of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the first major federal legislation to address homelessness. In 2013, after three years of advocacy, we won a major victory that protects survivors of domestic violence when Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, extending housing protections for victims of domestic violence to some 4 million additional housing units nationally. In 2016 we won major improvements to the education rights of homeless children as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorized the McKinney-Vento Education Program that upholds and protects homeless kids' education rights so that children have the tools they need to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Also in 2016, a federal court ruled that voters in Wisconsin who have trouble obtaining identification---often a problem for people experiencing homelessness---can still vote. Throughout the years, the Law Center has issued reports on homelessness, which are covered widely in the media and used by social service organizations. In the coming year, the Law Center is focused on ending the "criminalization" of homelessness, an effort to make illegal activities such as resting, eating, and sleeping in public. In addition to launching our Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign, bringing together over 100 organizations committed to ending the criminalization of homelessness, the Law Center has three cases pending in federal court challenging laws that discriminate against homeless people.

External Reviews

Financials

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

close
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
close
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
close
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
close
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
close
We have a diversity committee in place
close
We have a diversity manager in place
close
We have a diversity plan
check_circle
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
We ensure that at least two directors have lived experience of homelessness; currently, we have three formerly homeless Board members.