Maria Foscarinis is founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Foscarinis has been active in legal issues affecting the homeless since 1983. In 1985, she established the office of the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington. She calls anti-panhandling laws inhumane and possibly unconstitutional, and works to prevent cities from passing laws which attempt to sweep people off the streets. She has litigated several federal laws which enforce the individual rights of homeless people.