October 23, 2020
Dear HAP Supporters,
After nearly 23 years at the helm of our organization, Marsha Cohen has decided to resign as HAP’s Executive Director. We thank Marsha for her many years of service to HAP and in furtherance of our critical mission, and we wish her the very best on her new ventures.
As provided in HAP’s Succession Plan, HAP’s Managing Attorney, Michele (Shelly) Levy, who has led HAP’s legal team for two decades, has stepped up to serve as HAP’s Acting Executive Director while we conduct a search for our next ED. That search begins today, and it is being conducted nationally to reach as broad an array of diverse, qualified, and exceptional candidates as possible. Throughout this process, Shelly’s top priority will be, as it always has been, to strengthen and expand HAP’s legal representation of homeless individuals and families.
This period of transition for HAP coincides with a time of extraordinary change and hardship for the clients it serves. HAP is responding by redoubling our efforts to advocate for changes in laws impacting homelessness. HAP yesterday created the new position of Advocacy Director to spearhead those efforts. Michael Taub, HAP attorney and leader of HAP’s Veterans Team since 2003, has agreed to serve as our Advocacy Director, on top of his existing duties. Having successfully advocated for changes in emergency housing procedures at the local level in response to the pandemic, and on behalf of homeless veterans at the national level, Michael is ideally situated to assume this crucial role starting now.
Despite the many changes facing HAP and its clients, its dedicated staff and volunteers are continuing to fulfill our decades-long role as Philadelphia’s leading provider of legal services to people experiencing homelessness. All of our legal staff and programs remain in place, deployed throughout the pandemic to advance our mission of reducing the frequency and duration of homelessness in Philadelphia.
Shelly is especially grateful that Michael, along with the rest of HAP’s incredible staff, will be by her side as HAP embarks on this new chapter. All of us at HAP are extraordinarily grateful to you and our many other supporters and funding agencies for your continued support. Our mission, and our clients, depend on it. We will keep you posted.