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About Us

Mission and Vision

The Colorado Poverty Law Project's mission is to prevent homelessness through legal representation, education, and advocacy.

Our Vision: We believe that no one should become homeless for lack of access to housing justice.

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How to Get Help

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Would you like to request free legal assistance for a housing-related issue? Filling out an intake form is the most effective way to connect with us for support. 

Mission and Vision
Our Team

Meet the Team

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Shannon MacKenzie

Executive Director, CPLP

Shannon is a former teacher and a civil rights attorney specializing in disability law.  She uses her training as a trauma-informed practitioner to ensure that every client is treated with dignity and provided with exceptional service.

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Jack Regenbogen

Deputy Executive Director, CPLP

Jack Regenbogen is Deputy Executive Director at Colorado Poverty Law Project.  With expertise in evictions, landlord-tenant law, mobile home park policy, and affordable housing, Jack is responsible for developing and supporting policies to improve the housing security of low-income Coloradans. Jack also assists with CPLP's administrative and developmental functions. Jack earned his J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2015 and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College in 2012.

Contact Jack with questions about advocacy and policy initiatives  (Jack@copovertylawproject.org

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David Valleau

Housing Attorney, CPLP

Mobile Home Initiative Team  Leader

David is a driving force behind the organization’s Mobile Home Initiative, and uses his in-depth knowledge of Colorado’s Mobile Home Park Act to lead Know-Your-Rights trainings and provide pro bono legal guidance and representation for mobile home park residents. 

“It's often said that there are no rights without remedy. While the Mobile Home Park Act gives many rights to mobile home residents, those rights are meaningless without access to justice. Taken a step further, these rights mean nothing if mobile home residents are unaware of them. That is what I see as CPLP’s purpose.  We educate residents about their rights and facilitate access to justice and representation so residents can fulfill the rights provided to them by the Colorado legislature.”

Contact David for inquires about CPLP’s Mobile Home Initiative (david@copovertylawproject.org

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Lauren Rafter

Managing Attorney, CPLP

Lauren's  background is in working with young adults who have experienced trauma on a variety of legal and multidisciplinary issues and representing the best interests of children in civil protection order cases. She is a Managing Attorney at CPLP, working to ensure every individual seeking legal support feels heard and empowered to take the next necessary steps

“Safe and stable housing is integral in building a foundation upon which to thrive for people of all ages, and far too many people in our community are without that or at risk of losing that. CPLP steps in--meeting people where they are at--to address the crises they are facing. We also work with community partners through education, policy, and legislation to stop those same crises from happening to others in the future so that one day soon all of our neighbors in Colorado may be free from the trauma of experiencing homelessness.”

Contact  Lauren with questions about getting legal assistance  (lauren@copovertylawproject.org

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Olivia Kohrs

Managing Attorney, CPLP

Olivia uses her background in civil rights to inform how she provides client-centered legal guidance and resources to individuals fighting evictions.

Contact  Olivia with questions about getting legal assistance  (Olivia@copovertylawproject.org

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Andrea Worcester

Intake Team Manager, CPLP

Andrea is our Intake Team Manager and Spanish interpreter. Growing up in Colorado, Andrea has seen the population of the unhoused community grow with very little assistance being offered. Finding CPLP has given Andrea the avenue to help people access housing justice.  As an intake paralegal and often first point of contact, Andrea compassionately offers assistance and resources to help members feel safe to share their story. 

Contact Andrea with questions about getting legal assistance  (Andrea@copovertylawproject.org

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Idali Rodriguez

Intake and Administrative Coordinator, CPLP

Idali holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and minored in Political Science and Legal Studies. Idali first started with us as an intern during the Spring semester of 2022. She is now working diligently to provide resources and connect tenants to the appropriate legal support. She is passionate about social justice topics and hopes to one day become an attorney. Idali was most recently a fellow of the Law School Yes We Can Program. 

Contact Idali for questions about obtaining legal assistance  (Idali@copovertylawproject.org)

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Ellen Lee

Development and Grants Manager, CPLP

As Development and Grants Manager, Ellen is passionate about communicating CPLP’s mission and impact to donors. Prior to joining CPLP, Ellen spent several years fundraising for human services organizations. Ellen holds an MA in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Contact Ellen for questions about donations  (ellen@copovertylawproject.org)

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Ericka Welsh

Housing Attorney, CPLP

Ericka comes to CPLP with a varied background in public interest work, having served as an advocate for incarcerated individuals seeking post-conviction relief, immigrant families, refugees and asylum-seekers, and victims and offenders seeking access to restorative justice.  As a housing attorney, Ericka aims to provide compassionate, human-centered legal support to CPLP clients and help them obtain meaningful justice that meets their needs.  

Contact Ericka for questions about obtaining legal assistance (ericka@copovertylawproject.org)

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Kathia Castro Gonzalez

Community Navigator, CPLP

As Community Navigator, Kathia is pursuing her commitment to advocating for marginalized communities and amplifying the voices of individuals who have felt silence. Through CPLP she is able to provide and facilitate spaces in which individuals can learn, be empowered and become self-reliant in regards to housing. Prior to CPLP she worked in the education system working towards making her school an equitable space for all students and parents.

Contact Kathia for questions about community programs (kathia@copovertylawproject.org)

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Ariane Frosh

Housing Attorney and Young Adult Team Lead, CPLP

With a background in gender and reproductive justice, Ariane brings a client-centric and intersectional approach to her housing justice work at CPLP. Born and raised in Denver, Ariane is passionate about amplifying access to justice for the state’s most marginalized groups and believes that safe and secure housing is a foundational right of all Coloradans. Before law school, Ariane worked for Senator Michael Bennet and in the Obama Administration and clerked at the Colorado Court of Appeals prior to joining CPLP. Ariane earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School and her bachelor’s degree from Beloit College.  

Contact Ariane for questions about obtaining legal assistance (ariane@copovertylawproject.org)

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Rebecca Orton

Housing Attorney Fellow, CPLP

Rebecca (Becca) Orton is a Housing Attorney Fellow focusing on Fair Housing. She entered law school after working for nearly a decade as a joker/facilitator and founding member of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, where she worked with communities to make interactive plays about real stories of injustice and saw firsthand the importance of access to housing. As a law student intern, Becca worked at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia in the Housing Unit and at the Federal Community Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Becca holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Southern California.

Contact Rebecca for questions about obtaining legal assistance (rebecca@copovertylawproject.org)

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Carol Kennedy

Housing Attorney, CPLP

Before working as a housing attorney at CPLP, Carol clerked for two Denver District Court judges. Using her knowledge of the trial court, Carol offers strategic and thoughtful legal support to clients facing eviction. Carol is passionate about this work because she believes that stable housing provides a necessary foundation that allows people to thrive. She also understands the important role compassionate advocacy plays in favorably resolving housing disputes.

Contact Carol for questions about obtaining legal assistance (carol@copovertylawproject.org)

Tabitha Hererra

Housing Attorney, CPLP

Tabitha is a Housing Attorney with CPLP. Tabitha earned her law degree from Florida State University and has been an attorney for over five years. Housing is a crucial part of the ability to be successful and live the American dream, and Tabitha is passionate about helping people navigate the court system. Tabitha speaks English and Spanish and one day hopes to learn Japanese.

Contact Tabitha for questions about obtaining legal assistance (tabitha@copovertylawproject.org). 

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Christine Sandoval

Operations Manager, CPLP

Christine is the Operations Manager at CPLP. Although she holds a degree in Mortuary Science as a Board-certified Mortuary Science Practitioner, Christine has worked in administrative, human resources, and operations roles for grantmaking, funeral service, public education, affordable housing, and non- profit organizations. Born and raised in Denver, Christine has had the opportunity to serve people from all walks of life throughout Colorado and continues to be an advocate for those who face any type of adversity in their community.

Contact Christine (christine@copovertylawproject.org). 

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Jordan Cotleur

Housing Attorney, CPLP

Prior to coming to CPLP, Jordan worked as a legal service provider in Cincinnati, Ohio providing legal representation to low-income Cincinnatians facing eviction, foreclosure, and wage garnishment.  Jordan earned both my J.D. and my bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati. She has a bachelor's degree in International Affairs, where she focused my studies on international human rights. Jordan come to this work with the belief that housing is a fundamental human right. As a housing attorney, she aims to empower clients to fight housing injustice and learn from clients' experiences to inform practical policy solutions. 

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Molly O'Hara

Housing Attorney, CPLP

Molly has been working in housing law since graduating law school. She believes that everyone deserves safe and reliable housing and will continue to fight for tenants in Colorado.

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Caitlin Finn

Founder and Board Member, CPLP

VP of Finance, Legal at Gary Community Ventures

After graduating law school in 2014, Caitlin became CPLP’s first employee.  Drawing on her deep roots in Denver and her skills as a network builder, Caitlin has forged strong relationships with key stakeholders and helped position CPLP as an important player in Denver’s pro bono ecosystem. 

“Bryan Stevenson often discusses the importance of proximity. Proximity is so important because if you’re not in contact with the things you’re passionate about, the causes you believe in, and the people you want to help, then you lose sight of why you’re doing it.  You lose sight of who you are doing it for.  So I think it’s super important, especially as attorneys, that we remember why we went to law school. A client once said to me ‘Thank you for advocating for me. Thanks for standing up for me. You believed in me, and no one else has before.’  Sometimes it’s just showing up with someone and walking through a portion of their life with them that matters.”    

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Blair Kanis

Founder and Vice President, CPLP

General Counsel and Director of Sustainability, Cocona Labs

Blair founded CPLP with Tom Snyder in 2013 to provide vulnerable Coloradans with legal representation through monthly pro bono legal clinics. As the leader of CPLP’s Mobile Home Initiative, Blair works to clarify and strengthen protections afforded by Colorado’s Mobile Home Park Act and guides CPLP’s pro bono work in the area of mobile home evictions and tenant rights.

“I had a very clear sense of home growing up. My dad’s family had lived for generations on the farm where I grew up.  But I realize that this situation is the outlier in America. That’s where this idea of housing justice really took hold for me. If you don't have safe and stable housing, you can’t build a strong, healthy, happy life. If you lose your housing, it’s like unraveling this web that everything was connected to.  You don't have an address to send things to anymore. You are probably not living close to your job anymore. Your kids aren't in the same school or you may lose custody altogether.  But if you can hold on, and stay in your housing, that provides the stability to hopefully keep the rest together.”

Contact Blair with inquiries about CPLP’s Mobile Home Initiative (blair@copovertylawproject.org

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Tom Snyder

Founder and President, CPLP

Partner, Kutak Rock LLP

Drawing on his expertise as a trial attorney, Tom serves as an advisor on litigation and legal strategy for CPLP volunteers.  He is instrumental in the creation of CPLP’s Continuing Legal Education courses, and regularly provides pro bono services to CPLP clients on a range of housing justice issues.

"Advocating for these individuals is extremely rewarding. To interview somebody, coalesce their circumstances into a single legal issue, summarize it for them to show that you understand, carry that to a court or an adversary, and resolve the problem which seemed so impossible to them, it’s really powerful and true to the occupation of an attorney."

Contact Tom with inquires about Continuing Legal Education courses (thomas.snyder@kutakrock.com)

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Lisa Scalpone

Chief Financial Officer, CPLP

Lisa Scalpone is a technology executive who joined CPLP’s board to provide financial and administrative guidance as the organization entered a period of sustained growth.

Her strong background in corporate law and business strategy enables the team to maximize its work with clients in need.

“One could argue helping people stay in their homes is one of the most fundamental things you can do for a person. Our mental stability and our happiness is closely linked to having a place to go home to every night.  It's a truly scary prospect to be faced with an eviction court proceeding all alone. CPLP  provides that safety net so our fellow community members in need are not alone. You are with someone the whole way, who knows the law and who wants to help you. I'm proud to be a part of such an important organization.

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Kevin M. McGreevy

Senior Advisor, CPLP

Criminal Defense, Ridley, McGreevy, Winocur

Kevin worked for six years as a public defender in Denver before joining a private firm, and has the honor of being CPLP’s first board member. He has utilized his experience as a litigator to guide many vulnerable Colordans through legal challenges over the years and regularly volunteers at CPLP’s monthly legal clinic.

“There are a lot of reasons I think people should care about the Colorado Poverty Law Project, but most of them boil down to this one basic thing.  It makes our community stronger.  Caring for one another, making sure all who are subjected to the justice system have someone that can give them access to resources or an understanding of where they are so they are not mistreated.  Even if you are vulnerable, uneducated, or suffering from mental illness, we’re not going to allow for exploitation of those issues in our justice system. It just builds our community as a whole.”

Partners

CPLP is grateful to all the partners who make our work possible, including donors who support our work, volunteers who give their time, service providers with whom we collaborate, and community organizations that help us reach and support those in need of assistance.

Partners

Colorado’s Eviction Legal Defense Fund helps support CPLP’s Just Housing Initiative. The Just Housing Initiative  expands access to housing justice for vulnerable tenants through education and volunteer pro bono representation to defend against evictions and help with other housing issues.

In 2020, CPLP launched a pilot program of its Mobile Home Initiative in partnership with Adams County, which has the highest concentration of mobile homes in Colorado. 

In 2019, the Colorado Health Foundation provided critical funding for CPLP’s Just Housing Initiative.

Continuing support from the Colorado Health Foundation in 2020 has allowed CPLP to work toward statewide expansion of its Mobile Home Initiative in 2021.

Kutak Rock has been an indispensable partner in CPLP’s growth. The firm’s lawyers have provided countless hours volunteering, both in providing legal support services to CPLP as an organization and in providing advice and representation to the individuals CPLP serves. The firm also has been a consistent financial supporter of CPLP. We are proud and honored by the relentless support of Kutak Rock and its attorneys.

The Denver Foundation also provides important funding for CPLP’s Just Housing Initiative, supporting CPLP’s efforts to provide eviction defense and other legal assistance to individuals and families at risk of losing housing in the Denver metro area.

Legal and Social Service Partners 

Our clients often have complex needs that go beyond legal representation or require collaboration between legal service providers. Through our strong relationships with many legal and social service providers in the Front Range and our growing network throughout Colorado, we ensure that each client’s situation is addressed holistically.  Partners include:

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Community Support  Partners 

In addition to referrals from service providers, CPLP’s work depends on its strong partnerships in the communities we serve.  Like the service providers listed above, the organizations that support us in these community-based partnerships are the unsung heroes.  They inform us of critical issues facing residents in their communities, assist with outreach efforts, provide referrals, and so much more.

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