Antonia Fasanelli, the executive director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP), will become the executive director of the National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC) on April 1, it was announced Thursday.
Fasanelli will succeed Maria Foscarinis, the organization’s founder. The NHLC is the legal arm of the national movement to end homelessness.
HPRP is a nationally-recognized program for the delivery of civil legal aid to persons experiencing homeless and for its advocacy of solutions to homelessness. HPRP’s Homeless Youth Initiative was selected by the American Bar Association in 2017 as a national Model Program and its Veterans Legal Assistance Project and Clean Slate Initiatives have been replicated in other states.
The organization’s portfolio of work includes access to housing and eviction defense from shelter and housing, public benefits including health care and food, veteran’s benefits, military discharge upgrades and expungement of criminal records.
It is well-respected for its litigation against systemic barriers to housing, shelter and benefits. HPRP has been part of litigation teams that sought fair housing opportunities in Baltimore County, timely distribution of food stamps statewide and other matters ensuring fair and equitable access to shelter, housing and economic benefits. HPRP’s policy work, always pursued in coalition with persons with lived experience, has expanded Maryland’s fair housing laws, created state grant programs to fund housing and services for homeless youth, improved Maryland’s public benefit programs and decriminalized homelessness.
Through a headquarters in Baltimore and a satellite office in Montgomery County, HPRP provides free legal representation and advocacy statewide. HPRP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1987 and separately incorporated in 1990.
HPRP is Maryland’s only legal services and advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness. The 18 staff members work with more than 450 volunteer lawyers, paralegals and law students to provide free legal services, including advice, counsel, education, representation and advocacy, for low-income persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.