Executive Director

Homeless Advocacy Project

Posted: 10/28/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: CEO/ED/President

Primary domain: Crime/Legal

City: Philadelphia

Postal code: 19102

State: Pennsylvania

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$1M - $3M



Mission statement:

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

Position Details:

Job Description:


Established in 1990, the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) is the only legal services organization dedicated to providing direct civil legal services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. HAP also advocates for the needs of the City’s homeless population.

HAP’s work is guided by its vision, mission, and values.

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 the greater Philadelphia area.

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

More information about HAP is available at haplegal.org.


HAP is seeking an experienced, visionary leader to serve as its next Executive Director. Building on a strong foundation, the next leader will be responsible for leading HAP’s strategic direction, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and operational efficiency, and overseeing the organization’s programs and staff.

The ideal candidate brings a deep passion for HAP’s mission and a successful record of organizational leadership and experience developing strong relationships with various audiences, including funders, partners, policymakers, and individuals with lived experiences.  The ideal candidate is also a dedicated team builder, committed to fostering a positive and supportive culture that reflects HAP’s commitment to diversity, racial equity, and inclusion.


Vision and Strategic Leadership:

     Lead implementation of HAP’s strategic plan; collaborate with staff, the Board, and key stakeholders to develop innovative strategies to fulfill the organization’s mission

     Maintain active engagement and knowledge of current issues and trends to inform cutting edge programs and strategies to advance HAP’s mission

     Ensure and enhance HAP’s reputation as a leading voice and authority on legal and policy issues involving homelessness in Philadelphia

Team Leadership and Culture:

     Actively champion diversity, equity, and inclusion, and promote a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a talented, dedicated, and diverse staff

     Promote a respectful workplace that encourages teamwork

     Lead, mentor, and develop a high-performing team and foster positive organizational culture


     Oversee and work with Board and staff to implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy with diverse sources of revenue (including foundation, individual, law firm and corporate) and event fundraising (including an annual benefit)

     Cultivate and maintain relations with current and prospective funders and encourage active board engagement in donor cultivation

Program Management:

     Develop and oversee major strategic initiatives including advocacy, policy proposals, and litigation

     Participate in legal clinics on a regular basis and handle limited client matters in order to maintain a working knowledge of HAP’s day-to-day operations and the challenges faced by HAP’s clients

     Support and expand HAP’s network of pro bono lawyers to amplify program capacity

     Build, lead, and work as part of coalitions local, state, and national organizations, ensuring that HAP’s programs reflect the goals and needs of people with lived experience

 Board Engagement and Partnerships:

     Actively recruit, engage, support, and maintain effective communications with a strong and diverse Board of Directors; lead the Board in developing its own capacity to support the organization’s strategic priorities and financial sustainability

     Maintain and develop relationships with key stakeholders and partners, including policymakers, key allied organizations, media, law firms and corporate legal departments, and volunteers


     Serve as lead spokesperson for the organization’s mission and goals, including with the media, partner organizations, and policymakers

     Oversee the organization’s communications strategy to advance and support program goals, ensuring that key messages are communicated effectively

Financial Management & Administration:

     Oversee the successful execution of HAP’s day-to-day operations, including effective strategic financial decision-making, budgeting, and management, reporting, and compliance

     Negotiate and execute contracts, including agreements and other instruments made and entered into by and on behalf of the organization 


     Juris Doctorate degree and current license (any state) required; the successful candidate will be expected to obtain a license to practice in Pennsylvania

     Passion for HAP’s mission and ability to serve as a credible advocate for people experiencing, or at risk, of homelessness

     Proven success in a senior leadership role with a demonstrated ability to manage the strategic, financial, team leadership, and operational needs of a lean nonprofit

     Strong legal skills with a proven track record of high-quality, creative lawyering

     Demonstrated commitment to racial equity, diversity and inclusion

     Proven ability to lead and develop creative, thoughtful, and effective strategies to make systemic change

     Demonstrated aptitude for cultivating and stewarding funding relationships, including experience diversifying funding streams

     Positive, engaging, and entrepreneurial leadership style

     Exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills

     Ability to partner effectively with external stakeholders

     Strong professional ethics, transparency, integrity, and accountability


Salary is commensurate with experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale.  Available benefits include medical, dental, vision, term life, short and long term disability, 403(b) retirement plan, and generous paid time off and holidays.


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  In order to receive full consideration, candidates are urged to submit their materials by December 11, 2020. Please include a letter expressing in detail your interest in the position; your qualifications and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future; a current resume; and the names and contact information for three professional references. 

Materials should be submitted electronically to [email protected] in Microsoft Word or pdf format. HAP is assisted in the search by Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 105 Chauncy St., Fl 6, Ste 3, Boston, MA 02111, 508-737-4010, [email protected]  Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact her.

It is the policy of HAP to afford equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status that is protected by federal, state, or local law.


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