HAP Staff Members
Click a staff member's name to view their bio.
Marsha I. Cohen, Esq. – Executive Director
Celebrating 15 years as the executive director of the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) in Philadelphia, Marsha 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 Marsha'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, Marsha'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, Marsha 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, Marsha 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. Marsha 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.
Christian Pleskov, Esq. – Staff Attorney
Christian joined HAP as a staff attorney after having interned at HAP as a law student. Christian is a 2015 graduate of Temple University School of Law, where she was a Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society Member and recipient of the Public Interest Outstanding Student Service Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association. She received her B.A. from The College of New Jersey in 2009. Prior to attending law school, Christian worked with homeless women and children as a case manager at HomeFront in Lawrenceville, NJ.
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.
Leonora Cravotta – Development Director
Leonora Cravotta joined HAP in October 2013 as the Development Director. Leonora was previously employed for three years as the Development Director for The Independence Charter School, a nationally recognized center city school serving students K-8. Her professional background also includes ten years in corporate marketing communications with JPMorgan Chase and TD Bank. Leonora holds a B.A. in English/French from Denison University, an M.A. in English from University of Kentucky, and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Fordham University.
Neha Yadav Chiaramonte, Esq. – Staff Attorney
Neha Yadav Chiaramonte joined the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) in 2014, as a Staff Attorney, she had previously interned with HAP during law school.
Neha's primary focus is on HAP's Veterans Project. She works with indigent veterans who are facing an array of legal issues, including but not limited to, compensation, pension and social security. Additionally, she supervises volunteer attorneys at HAP's various clinics.
Neha is a 2012 graduate from Drexel University School of Law, where she was awarded the Public Interest Service Award, for her dedication to indigent populations and consistent pro bono work. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Drexel University in 2008.
After graduating law school, Neha was awarded a Martin Luther King Jr. Public Interest Fellowship through the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. She worked as a Staff Attorney for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA prior to joining the HAP team.
Michael Taub, Esq. – Staff Attorney
Michael Taub is a Staff Attorney and Director of The Homeless Advocacy Project's Veterans Project, where he has worked since 2003. He represents homeless veterans on their claims and appeals for VA benefits, and supervises pro bono attorneys who volunteer to represent homeless veterans on their VA claims and appeals. Michael is nationally recognized for his exceptional work on behalf of his veteran clients and has trained attorneys on VA benefits law at some of the nation's largest law firms in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington DC.
Margianne Smith – Office Administrator
Margianne Smith has been employed with HAP for 15 years as the Office Administrator. As Administrator, she is responsible for handling telephone calls and referring client walk-ins, assessing their needs and linking them with volunteers, staff attorneys, legal or social service providers as needed. She also manages all client matters involving birth records requests approximately 920 cases annually. A birth certificate helps clients obtain identification and housing. Prior to her employment with HAP, Margianne was employed with Reed Technology Information Services, Rooster Inc. Corporation and Mercy Hospital. Margianne holds a Business Administrator Certificate from Campus Boulevard Corporation. She has also taken business courses at Community College of Philadelphia.
Alie Muolo, Esq. – Independence Fellow, Staff Attorny
Alie Muolo joined the Homeless Advocacy Project in September 2014 as an Independence Foundation Fellow. Her fellowship project established the Veterans SOAR Project, which is designed to secure stable income for disabled veterans experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness who are either ineligible for VA benefits or waiting for a decision on their VA benefits claim.
Alie graduated from Saint Joseph’s University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her law degree from Villanova University School of Law, cum laude, where she was student works editor of the Villanova Law Review and director of the Public Interest Fellowship Program. Prior to law school, Alie worked as a case manager at a homeless shelter through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a full-time volunteer program.
Tanya Rambert – Director of Operations
Tanya joined HAP on January 21, 2014 as the Director of Operations. Tanya was previously employed for four years as the Staff Accountant at the Philadelphia Bar Association. Tanya was also employed for seventeen years at Philadelphia VIP and held many management positions. Her professional background includes public interest legal services, human resource management, administration, operations management, finance and technology. Tanya holds an Associate’s degree in Management from Peirce College and a certificate in Human Resource Management from the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University.
Nicole Kratzer – Notre Dame Law School Public Service Fellow
Nicole Kratzer joined HAP as a legal fellow in January, 2015. Nicole is a 2014 graduate from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She received her B.S. in History from Kansas State University in 2011. During law school she was a student legal intern with the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center where she served nonprofit organizations and small business clients. After graduating law school, Nicole was selected to participate in Notre Dame’s Public Service Initiative, which provides recent graduates with the opportunity to perform important legal services for government and nonprofit employers across the country.
Joy Harris – Office Assistant
Joy Harris joined the Homeless Advocacy Project in 2014, as an Office Assistant. Joy enjoys working with HAP. She is happy to assist when and where ever needed. For her it has been quite an experience working with the HAP staff and HAP's clients. In the future she hopes to open a shelter of her own to assist families in need, helping them to get on their feet and achieve goals they have for themselves! Joy is currently a student at Temple University, studying to obtain a Bachelors degree in Forensic Pathology.