HAP Staff Members
Click a staff member's name to view their bio.
Michael Taub, Esq.
Director of Special Events
Marsha I. Cohen, Esq. – Executive Director
Celebrating 15 years as the executive director of the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) in Philadelphia, Cohen is the public voice of a growing nonprofit that exists to meet the legal and advocacy needs of homeless individuals and families in the region. Under her leadership, HAP has grown from an annual budget of $200,000 to a $1.1 million in 2013 and has increase its staff from 4 to 14. Under Cohen's leadership, HAP recruits, trains and supports more than 350 volunteer legal advocates annually, whose services and resources change the lives of thousands of homeless individuals and families in the region. Since HAP's founding in 1990, the organization has provided free civil legal services to more than 32,100 homeless men, women and children in Philadelphia.
A lawyer by trade, Cohen's efforts to advocate for the needs of Philadelphia's homeless population with city officials and policymakers has resulted in numerous policy and legislative changes. At a time of shrinking government resources and a rapidly growing homeless population, Cohen and HAP are committed to making access to free civil legal services as widely available as possible to ensure homeless individuals have access to public benefits, supportive services and housing.
As a long-term volunteer for the Support Center for Child Advocates and Women Against Abuse Legal Center, Cohen has helped abused and neglected women and children to live safe and healthy lives. She served on the board of the Caring People Alliance and co-chairs the Philadelphia Bar Association's Deliver of Legal Services Management Committee. Cohen received her BA from Wesleyan University and her JD from the George Washington University School of Law.
Laura Kolb, Esq. – Staff Attorney
Laura Kolb is a staff attorney at the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP). She is also supervisor of HAP’s Children and Families Project, where her practice focuses on family law and accessing disability benefits for eligible youth aging-out of DHS care.
She is a graduate of the University of Texas and Temple Beasley School of Law. Before joining HAP in 2004, she worked for several years in the children’s mental health field.
Morgen Black-Smith, Esq. – Staff Attorney
Morgen Black-Smith joined HAP as a staff attorney in 2009 after having volunteered extensively with HAP as a law student. Morgen is a 2006 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was a Levy Scholar in Law and Public Policy and served on the board of the Journal of Law and Social Change. She received her B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Spanish from the University of Virginia in 2001.
After graduating from law school, Morgen clerked for the Honorable Harvey Bartle III, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to attending law school, Morgen worked with inner-city youth in Baltimore for two years through a full-time volunteer program.
David McVeigh-Schultz – Development Director
For the last twenty years, David McVeigh-Schultz has been developing programs and raising funds for nonprofit organizations that help low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia achieve financial security and self-sufficiency.
As Development Director of the Energy Coordinating Agency, David worked to expand utility bill assistance and energy conservation programs that helped thousands of households each year to avoid the loss of their heating services. Prior to that, David directed the Delaware Valley Housing Coalition, which united housing development and social service organizations in efforts to secure tens of millions of dollars in federal funds.
David earned a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University and has extensive experience soliciting and administering grants and contracts, and working with corporate and individual donors.
Michele Levy, Esq. – Managing Attorney
Michele Levy is the Managing Attorney at the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) and has been with HAP since December, 1999. She provides direct legal representation to homeless individuals and families, supervises the HAP legal staff as well as volunteer attorneys, legal assistants and law students. She also conducts broader advocacy on systemic issues that impact the homeless population in Philadelphia.
Before coming to HAP, Michele practiced with a small firm in Delaware County focusing primarily on civil rights litigation and criminal defense. She also spent 4 years as a staff attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services Program, a free legal services program in Washington, DC, where she represented indigent individuals in a wide range of civil legal matters. Michele graduated from Temple University School of Law in 1986.
Patricia Malley, Esq. – Senior Staff Attorney
Patricia Malley joined the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) in 2003 and is the Senior Staff Attorney. She provides direct legal representation to homeless individuals and families in a wide array of civil legal matters and supervises volunteer attorneys and legal assistants in their pro bono representation of HAP clients. Pat manages HAP’s largest SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery) Project, an expedited federal disability application project for homeless men and women.
Prior to joining the HAP staff, Pat worked with a civil litigation law office focusing on civil rights, criminal defense and personal injury cases. After graduating from Temple University School of Law in 1986, Pat was a staff attorney for North PA Legal Services in Towanda, Pennsylvania.
Meg Retz, Esq. – Staff Attorney
Margaret (Meg) Retz joined the Homeless Advocacy Project staff in September 2006 as an Independence Foundation Fellow representing street homeless men and women in claims before the Social Security Administration. Now a staff attorney, Meg supervises legal clinics at five Philadelphia shelters and soup kitchens.
Prior to joining HAP's staff, Meg coordinated the Pennsylvania Asylee Outreach Project at HIAS PA. Meg received her B.A. from Loyola University in 2000 and graduated from Temple University's Beasley School of Law in 2005.