HOMELESS ADVOCACY PROJECT

Legal Services to Break the Cycle of Poverty and Homelessness

aka HAP   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  www.haplegal.org

Mission

To provide free civil legal services and advocacy to reduce the frequency and duration of homelessness in Philadelphia.

Ruling year info

1990

Executive Director

Dean Beer Esq.

Main address

1429 Walnut Street Fl. 15

Philadelphia, PA 19102 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2619480

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (L01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 1990, the Philadelphia Bar Association and the homeless services community created the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) to address the unmet legal needs of Philadelphia’s homeless population. HAP’s specialized programs serve veterans, families with children, youth aging out of foster care, individuals suffering from opioid addiction, and individuals transitioning from prison to independent living. Annually HAP holds over 100 legal clinics at 25 sites throughout Philadelphia. Since HAP’s first legal clinic in December 1990, HAP’s staff and 350 volunteers have helped more than 55,000 people at risk of or experiencing homelessness and have provided more than $94 million worth of free legal services to Philadelphians experiencing homelessness. Through HAP's efforts people experiencing homelessness may gain a guaranteed source of income, obtain medical and other benefits, secure ID and housing, and stabilize their lives.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

HAP's Adopt-a-Shelter Project

Through HAP's Adopt-a-Shelter Project, a firm or corporate legal department agrees to staff a HAP legal clinic on a monthly or bimonthly basis. HAP’s Adopt-a-Shelter Project provides an opportunity for attorneys to conduct pro bono work in a way that fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Population(s) Served

HAP’s Children, Youth, and Families Project (CYF Project) addresses family and youth homelessness in Philadelphia. HAP legal clinics are conducted in the City’s largest family shelters. These CYF Project legal clinics address some of the most urgent legal needs of homeless children, including access to federal disability funds, special education services, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits and family law.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

Launched in 2001, HAP’s Veterans Project was one of the first legal services projects in the country to specialize in Veterans Administration benefits. HAP’s monthly legal clinics for veterans experiencing homelessness, held at shelters, transitional housing sites, and drop-in centers throughout Philadelphia, address the most urgent needs impacting homeless veterans. HAP helps homeless veterans obtain access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability and pension benefits, Social Security Income (SSI), access to medical care and family law matters, and assistance with landlord-tenant issues, among others.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

HAP’s SOAR (SSI/SSD Outreach, Access, and Recovery) Project remains the surest and most efficient path to Supplemental Security Income (Federal Disability Benefits) for Philadelphians experiencing or facing homelessness. With an approval rating of 97 percent, HAP has secured benefits for over 2,700 clients since starting our SOAR Project in December 2007.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

VISION: All Philadelphians at risk of or experiencing homelessness have equal access to justice and the means to secure safe and stable housing.

MISSION: To provide free civil legal services and advocacy to reduce the frequency and duration of homelessness in Philadelphia.

HAP’S VALUES: Individuals and families experiencing homelessness have unique legal problems and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

HAP’S VALUES INCLUDE:
Service – Represent clients’ rights and interests with free, high quality civil legal services;
Outreach – Meet clients where they eat, sleep, and access services;
Advocacy – Advocate on issues affecting poverty and homelessness;
Integrity – Serve clients with professionalism, integrity and compassion; and
Community – Collaborate with legal and social service partners to reduce the occurrence, impact and frequency of homelessness in Philadelphia.

HAP's essential ingredient is community-based outreach to people experiencing homelessness. HAP collaborates with shelter providers, homeless advocates, social service providers, and the legal community to provide homeless clients with legal representation in over 50 civil legal matters and to connect them with other social supports.

By recruiting and training volunteer attorneys, legal assistants, and law students to staff these clinics, HAP is able to provide free legal counseling and representation to a population not adequately served by other legal services programs.

HAP's primary projects include a Children, Youth, and Families Project, a Veterans Project, a nationally celebrated SOAR Project (rapid SSI benefits), and a Duffy KARE Project (to help people suffering from opioid addiction in Kensington, PA.

HAP benefits from a leadership team that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the mission of the organization and has developed substantial expertise in this area of public interest law that is widely recognized in the Delaware Valley and beyond.

In February 2021, HAP welcomed Dean M. Beer, Esquire as it new Executive Director. Dean is the public voice of a growing nonprofit that exists to meet the legal and advocacy needs of homeless individuals and families in the region. HAP's annual budget is $ 2,160,246 with a staff of 18. Under Dean’s leadership, HAP recruits, trains, and supports more than 350 volunteer legal advocates annually, whose services and resources change the lives of thousands of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the region.

Michele Levy is the Managing Attorney at HAP and has been with HAP for over twenty years. She provides direct legal representation to individuals and families experiencing homelessness, supervises the HAP legal staff and volunteer attorneys, legal assistants, and law students. She also conducts broader advocacy on systemic issues that impact the homeless population in Philadelphia. Before coming to HAP, Michele practiced with a small firm in Delaware County focusing primarily on civil rights litigation and criminal defense. She also spent four years as a staff attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services Program, a free legal services program in Washington, DC, where she represented indigent individuals in a wide range of civil legal matters.

Patricia Malley joined HAP in 2003 and is the Senior Staff Attorney. She provides direct legal representation to homeless individuals and families in a wide array of civil legal matters and supervises volunteer attorneys and legal assistants in their pro bono representation of HAP clients. Pat manages HAP’s largest SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery) Project, an expedited federal disability application project for men and women experiencing homelessness. Prior to joining the HAP staff, Pat worked with a civil litigation law office focusing on civil rights, criminal defense, and personal injury cases and for the North PA Legal Services in Towanda, PA.

Michael Taub is Director of HAP’s Veterans Project, where he has worked since 2003. In 2021, Michael also assumed the newly created Director of Advocacy position at HAP. He represents veterans experiencing homelessness on their claims and appeals for VA benefits, and supervises pro bono attorneys who volunteer to represent veterans experiencing homelessness on their VA claims and appeals. Michael is nationally recognized for his exceptional work on behalf of his veteran clients and has trained attorneys on VA benefits law at some of the nation’s largest law firms in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington DC.

In 1994, in response to the growing number of homeless children living in shelters in Philadelphia, HAP created the Children, Youth, and Families Project (CYF Project). CYF Project clinics address some of the most urgent legal needs of homeless children, including access to federal disability funds, special education services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, and family law issues. Since this Project was created, HAP has held over 1,164 CFP Project legal clinics, with more than 10,378 homeless families participating.

In 2001, HAP developed a project to help homeless veterans with their various legal needs and, consistent with its outreach intake model, began conducting a monthly legal clinic at the Veterans Multi-Service Center, a day program for veterans experiencing homelessness. Currently, HAP continues as the only legal services provider conducting outreach to homeless veterans in the area. HAP also participates in a HUD-funded multi-million dollar SSVF (Supportive Services for Veteran Families) project that helps homeless veterans in Philadelphia to access housing and other services. Since 2001, HAP has helped 2,122 homeless veterans through this Project.

In 2007, HAP entered into its first contract with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) to develop an expedited Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits application protocol for chronically homeless Philadelphians modeled under a federal initiative titled SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery). HAP developed, and continues to administer, Philadelphia’s only SOAR Project through which HAP rapidly secures SSI benefits for disabled homeless adults and youth. Currently, HAP contracts with OSH, the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Mental Health Association of Philadelphia, JEVS, and the Philadelphia Prisons System.

HAP’s SOAR Project is routinely highlighted as one of the most successful SOAR Projects in the country. Nationally, only 10%-15% of homeless claimants are approved for SSI benefits when they apply on their own. An administrative appeal hearing decision, even if successful, can take two years from the application date. HAP maintains a 97% success rate for its clients to obtain SSI through SOAR, with an average processing time of only 58 days. HAP has secured benefits for 2,386 clients since starting the SOAR Project in 2007.

In 2019, HAP launched the Duffy KARE (Kensington, Advocacy, Representation and Empowerment) Project at the Storefront in Kensington. Through KARE, HAP is helping to serve homeless individuals caught in the opioid crisis with their civil legal needs.

Each year, HAP provides free legal services to 3,000 Philadelphians experiencing homelessness. During the pandemic, HAP has been providing legal services through virtual and safely-distanced outdoor clinics and weekly telephonic and virtual office hours.

Financials

HOMELESS ADVOCACY PROJECT
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Operations

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

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HOMELESS ADVOCACY PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 4/5/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jon Cochran

LeVan Stapleton Segal Cochran

Term: 2022 - 2022

Dennis Brennan

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Bridget Briggs

Blank Rome

Jacqueline Chapman

Community Member

Lynn Charytan

Comcast Cable

Terri Claybrook

Subaru of America, Inc.

Jon Cochran

LeVan Stapleton Segal Cochran

Thomas Duffy

Duffy + Fulginiti

Ilana Eisenstein

DLA Piper

James Faunes

Feldman Shepherd

Kenneth Gibb

White and Williams

Carmine Giganti

Chubb Insurance

Jennedy Johnson

PECO/Exelon Company

Nikki Johnson-Huston

Law Office of Nikki Johnson-Huston

Jon Katona

Klehr Harrison

Lawrence Kotler

Duane Morris

Harrison Lee

Comcast Cable

Olufunke Leroy

Holland & Knight

Michael LiPuma

Law Office of Michael D. LiPuma

Christopher Nana-Sinkam

Dilworth Paxson

David Newmann

Hogan Lovells

Brian North

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

Michael O'Brien

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott

Justin Oshana

United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Palazzese

The Reliable Companies

Wesley Payne IV

White and Williams

Brian Pedrow

Ballard Spahr

Heather Rennie

Merck & Co.

Jessica Rickabaugh

Tucker Law Group

Rachel Rosenberg

Dechert

Nancy Smith

Lincoln National Corporation

Cassandra Summers

Reed Smith

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/24/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data