2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

Learn More & Apply

Headshot of DiNesha Rucker

DiNesha Rucker

  • Hosted by Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc.
  • Sponsored by Housing Justice Program
  • Service location Baltimore, Maryland
  • Law school Howard University School of Law
  • Issue area Housing/Eviction, Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Housing Justice Program

The Project

DiNesha’s (she/they) project, hosted by the Homeless Persons Representation Project’s Homeless Youth Initiative, will focus on eviction defense and increasing access to permanent housing for youth and young adults in Baltimore City, Maryland.

This Fellowship seeks to address housing issues facing youth up to the age of 25. Many times, housing resources are not geared toward this age demographic leaving them unhoused or subject to cyclical transitional housing. By providing legal and educational assistance specifically for this population, DiNesha will seek to increase the number of youth and young adults’ access to permanent housing.

Fellowship Plans

Increasing access to permanent housing for youth and young adults will require advocacy, collaborative partnerships with the community providers and those affected by housing instability, as well as homelessness and legislative policy change. Eviction and subsidized housing defense are essential to ensure that those currently housed remain housed and those denied get the housing they need. Additionally, connecting with Continuum of Care organizations providing resources to those who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability is paramount to connecting with the community this fellowship seeks to serve. Through those partnerships, DiNesha will develop and execute legal clinics to not only educate youth about their rights as tenants but also support the education of staff so that the work may continue after the completion of the Fellowship. Lastly, DiNesha will advocate for legislative policy changes affecting homeless youth by persistently uplifting youths’ voices and strategic coalition building to continue developing lasting infrastructure that effectively supports Baltimore’s youth and young adults.

This opportunity was uniquely catered to a demographic that DiNesha has always sought to serve: youth and young adults. Youth are our future and investing in their well-being is one of the best investments an individual and a community can make. Although DiNesha struggled with housing instability and homeless throughout their youth and young adulthood, the trajectory of their lives was not determined by those periods. It was because of those that made an investment in them and the same can be said about the community they now seek to serve.


Meet the Fellows in Our 2022 Housing Justice Program

As a person from a low-income background who has struggled with youth housing instability and homelessness, I’m honored and proud to serve a community from which I proudly identify and be an example of the possibilities the future may offer.

DiNesha Rucker /
2022 Housing Justice Program Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like DiNesha

View All

Denise Thomas - Brown

Denise Thomas-Brown

Host: Virginia Poverty Law Center

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Headshot of Jake Kmiech

Jake Kmiech

Host: CASA, inc.

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Current Fellow

Daryl F. Hayott

Host: Virginia Poverty Law Center

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program

Laura Dobbs

Host: Virginia Poverty Law Center

Sponsor: Housing Justice Program