An Inspired Team

In 2022 and early 2023, the Law Center engaged in a strategic planning effort that obtained input from external national, state and local partners, persons with lived expertise, and our full board and staff. We are excited to share our plan with you and are dedicated to working towards these strategic goals over the next three years.

Our Vision

Cultivate a society where every person can live with dignity and enjoy their basic human rights, including the right to affordable, quality, and safe housing.

Our Mission

Fearlessly advance federal, state and local policies to prevent and end homelessness while fiercely defending the rights of all unhoused persons. 

Our Values

Human-centered & People-first

We recognize the ways that every person’s humanity is undercut by systems of oppression. We build relationships with each other and our partners that authentically honor that humanity.


We take direction from impacted communities. We strengthen the capacity of our teammates and partners. We build relationships of trust.

Inclusive, Diverse, and Anti-racist

We reckon with the impact of power, inequality and oppression on people, and actively dismantle these systems internally and externally.

Trusted, Credible, and Rigorous

We are transparent, honest, and reliable. We are accountable to each other and our partners. We are up-front about our expertise and limitations.


We listen, learn, and adapt to change, as informed by each other and our external relationships​.

Empowered and Proactive

We support, are accountable, and shift power to impacted communities. We care for each other in a systemic way that builds capacity and honors our experiences.

Goal 1:

Champion Policies​

We drive and support federal, state, and local policies that will prevent and solve homelessness – informed by currently and formerly unhoused persons.

Goal 2:

Fight for Rights​

We pursue a national legal strategy to fight for the rights of all unhoused persons at the federal, state, and local levels by working in partnership with pro bono allies, coalition partners, and policy makers, as well as training attorneys and advocates. 

Goal 3:

Mobilize Coalitions​

By addressing structural conditions of oppression and fostering relationships rooted in trust, we empower current and formerly unhoused people to lead coalitions that work to prevent and solve homelessness. 

Goal 4:

Evolve Internally​

We cultivate a culture that encourages growing our skills and challenging white supremacy and all forms of structural oppression within our organization and our networks. 

Strategy: How do we get there?

Our History

The National Homelessness Law Center was founded in 1989 as the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty by Maria Foscarinis, a lawyer who initially volunteered to represent homeless families on a pro bono basis. She was a principal architect of the 1987 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the first major federal legislation to address homelessness and founded the Law Center to help ensure the legislation would be properly implemented.

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