“Eviction in Baltimore” with WYPR’s Sheilah Kast features HPRP’s Karen Wabeke

Senior Staff Attorney Karen Wabeke

Senior Staff Attorney Karen Wabeke

Baltimore ranks second in the country – behind Detroit – in the number of tenants threatened with eviction. In any given year, about 6 percent of Baltimore’s renters are evicted; most likely of all to face eviction are black women with children.

We’ll talk to Zafar Shah, staff lawyer with the Public Justice Center, and Karen Wabeke, senior staff attorney with Homeless Persons Representation Project, about how public policies work against tenants in rent court, what’s changed recently and what changes they’d like to see.

To listen, click here.

Information about the 2016 Jane Harrison Speaker Series on the Importance of Housing is available here.

 

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HPRP lends a hand at veterans’ resource event

HPRP staff attorney Michael Stone

HPRP staff attorney Michael Stone

Earlier this week, HPRP staff attorney Michael Stone was on hand at the Veteran and Family Resource Day at the Perry Point VA Medical Center in Cecil County. About 120 former service members attended the event, which connected them with employment, job training, legal assistance, and other needed services.

Michael was there on behalf of HPRP’s Veterans Legal Assistance Program to provide information about VA disability and criminal record expungement. “It was a great event and really shows the level of need of low-income veterans in rural Maryland,” said Michael, who also conducts monthly intakes at Perry Point for homeless and low-income veterans who need help with service-connected disability benefits, non-service connected pensions, and discharge upgrades. “I’m glad to bring them a little of the assistance necessary to help avoid homelessness and other dire situations.”

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Evicted by Matthew Desmond: “…peels back the curtain on the stark realities.”

DSC01744_AFHeadCropHPRP executive director Antonia Fasanelli on #Evicted by Matthew Desmond: “His book is the clearest, unadulterated explanation to people who never appreciated the large role eviction plays in low-income communities—it peels back the curtain on the stark realities. We know that housing is a major solution to homelessness. But we will not accomplish it unless we look critically at the tremendous impact that eviction contributes to thousands of people who become homeless in Maryland, and particularly Baltimore, each year.”

HPRP and the Public Justice Center are presenting Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond September 29 at the 2016 Jane Harrison Speaker Series on the Importance of Housing at the University of Baltimore. The event is sold out.

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A young woman, now jobless, gets higher benefits with HPRP’s help

Staff attorney Dalton Collins

Staff attorney Dalton Collins

A 22-year-old Baltimore woman who lost both her part-time jobs is now getting higher food stamp benefits, thanks to her HPRP attorney. The client, a participant in the One Baltimore for Jobs program (where she’s training to become a biotechnical laboratory technician), met with staff attorney Dalton Collins after the Department of Social Services took no action to increase her food stamp benefits.

“I discovered that she was owed $78 per month in food stamp benefits for April, May, and June 2016,” Dalton said. “I advocated for her food stamp benefits to be increased to the appropriate amount moving forward and asked the Department of Social Services to pay her the benefits she was owed.” The DSS agreed, paying the client $234 in owed benefits and increasing her monthly benefit to $194 – the maximum monthly benefit for a household of one– moving forward.

 

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“Evicted” author Matthew Desmond speaks Sept. 29

"Evicted" author Matthew Desmond

“Evicted” author Matthew Desmond

HPRP and the Public Justice Center will be co-hosting Harvard professor Matthew Desmond as a part of the 2016 Jane Harrison Speaker Series on the Importance of Housing. At the September 29 event, Desmond will speak about his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City and his time spent  following the lives of landlords and tenants in some of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods.

Following Dr. Desmond, a panel representing tenant, landlord, and judicial perspectives will discuss housing and eviction issues, and solutions, in Baltimore, where 7,000 families are evicted each year.

For more information, click here.  #Evicted

 

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Meet Noah Patton, the 2016-2017 Linda Kennedy Fellow

Noah Patton, 2016-17 Linda Kennedy Fellow

Noah Patton, 2016-17 Linda Kennedy Fellow

The 2016-2017 Linda Kennedy Fellow, Noah Patton, is a second-year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. “I saw the listing for the Fellowship and thought, Wow, this for my exact skill set!” Noah said. His goal for his legal career is to work on legal advocacy at the state level. Noah, a Maryland native, was a summer legal intern at the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, where he worked with OAG attorneys assigned to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and with OAG attorneys in the Medicaid Fraud Unit.

The Linda Kennedy Fellowship in Advocacy honors the late Linda Kennedy, Esq., a courageous and determined advocate for persons with disabilities and persons without housing. Linda was a champion for equal treatment of our clients and neighbors who struggle with homelessness.  Her tireless work, particularly with people seeking to overcome barriers to housing and employment imposed by criminal records, had a significant impact in our community.  Linda provided critical representation to our clients in their efforts to expunge arrest records and resolve collateral issues related to criminal records.  Linda’s deeply caring manner with which she addressed the needs of each client was special.

The Linda Kennedy Fellowship in Advocacy provides a second- or third-year law student with an internship at HPRP to work on policy and systemic issues that promote an end to homelessness in Baltimore City and in Maryland.

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Fasanelli joins new ABA commission to help veterans

ABA President Linda Klein

ABA President Linda Klein

At last week’s ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, ABA President Linda Klein announced the Veterans Legal Services Initiative, a new commission to mobilize lawyers and help build a comprehensive online resource to direct veterans to legal resources and legal providers. HPRP Executive Director Antonia Fasanelli is a member of the 20-member volunteer commission.

“These are men and women who have signed a piece of paper saying they would die for us, for our country, in defense of our liberty,” Klein said in outlining her plans at the meeting. “When our justice system fails these people, we as a profession must answer our own calls and oath on their behalf.”

For more information on the commission, click here.

HPRP Executive Director Antonia Fasanelli

HPRP Executive Director Antonia Fasanelli

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