Patricia Mullahy Fugere

Co-founder and former Executive Director, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Inc.

Patricia Mullahy Fugere (Patty) has been involved in affordable housing and homelessness issues since 1980 when, as a college student, she supported low-income DC renters seeking to purchase their homes and convert them to cooperatively-owned housing. She was inspired by that experience to attend law school, seeking to use the tools of the legal profession to expand affordable housing opportunities for community members with limited resources. After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1984, Patty went on to co-found and, from 1991 until late 2022, serve as the executive director of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. She believes deeply that housing is a human right and is committed to ensuring that the wisdom and voices of those who experience homelessness or severe housing insecurity are a vital part of the policy conversations that impact their lives.

Though she retired from the Legal Clinic last year, Patty remains involved in housing justice and social justice advocacy, both in DC and beyond. She serves on the board of directors of The Center for Social Housing and Community Investment (DC) and of Community Spring (FL) and on the Advisory Board of Neighborhood Hands (CA). She was a founding member of the DC Access to Justice Commission, a co-founder and long-time steering committee member of the DC Fair Budget Coalition, and a member of the governing or advisory boards of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, the Washington Council of Lawyers and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. Patty continues to work to build a new generation of justice advocates as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center, where she co-teaches the course “Homelessness, Poverty and Legal Advocacy.”

The importance of Patty’s work has been recognized both nationally and locally, with awards from Georgetown University Law Center, the National Homelessness Law Center, the Washington Council of Lawyers, the DC Bar, the Legal Aid Society of DC, the DC Bar Foundation, the People for Fairness Coalition, and the Gray Panthers of Metro Washington. In addition, Patty holds honorary degrees from Georgetown University Law Center and Kings College (PA).