CHICAGO, August 4, 2004 Read all today’s legal news, law, law firm news & legal research at LAWFUEL –Piper Rudnick associate Danielle Meltzer Cassel today received a Special Recognition Award from the Partnership to End Homelessness, the law firm announced.
She was recognized at the Partnership’s 2004 annual meeting this morning at Chicago’s Westin Hotel. In attendance were Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Julie Hamos, representative to the Illinois House from the state’s 18th district.
The award cites Ms. Meltzer Cassel’s significant pro bono legal work on behalf of nonprofit homeless shelters and transitional housing providers. Most notably, she helps such organizations obtain the necessary zoning approvals to locate in Chicago neighborhoods, and has assisted the Partnership to End Homelessness in its ongoing effort to change certain aspects of current Chicago zoning laws.
“We are immensely proud of Danielle’s tireless work helping provide shelter to the homeless,” said Allen Ginsburg, managing partner of Piper Rudnick’s Chicago office. “She exemplifies the firm’s strong commitment to helping those who otherwise would be without representation.”
Among the organizations Ms. Meltzer Cassel has helped are La Casa Norte, The Resurrection Project, and, on many occasions, Deborah’s Place. She has served for five years on the board of WomanCraft, a subsidiary of Deborah’s Place that hires and trains Deborah’s Place residents, who often face significant barriers to employment. She has served for several years on the advisory board of the Community Economic Development Law Project and provided assistance to the St. Elizabeth Catholic Worker homeless shelter. Ms. Meltzer Cassel also serves on the board and provides ongoing pro bono legal assistance for Public Allies, a service and leadership development program affiliated with AmeriCorps, that places 30 young people a year in service internships in Chicago nonprofits.
The citation given by the Partnership to End Homelessness to Ms. Meltzer Cassel reads:
This is awarded to a special friend to the Partnership, who has demonstrated leadership and dedication to the organization and to the movement to end homelessness.
This year’s award goes to Danielle Meltzer Cassel, who is a zoning attorney at the law firm of Piper Rudnick. Danielle has donated her time and her expertise, helping us navigate the rough waters of the zoning process. She has been a trusted adviser of member agencies as they face zoning challenges. She also helped draft the Partnership’s proposed zoning reform ordinance and acted as an advocate as we worked to have it adopted into the city’s zoning code. We thank Danielle for lending us her tremendous competence, her energy and her faith that we can make a difference.
Ms. Meltzer Cassel focuses her private practice on transactional real estate, land use, and public incentives law. Her transactional and land use work covers a broad spectrum of property types, including urban and suburban retail and office developments, hotels, hospitals, schools, industrial parks and manufacturing facilities, power plants, and single-family and multi-family residential properties. For the past five years, she also has co-taught seminars in zoning and land use law at both Northwestern University Law School and at the University of Chicago Law School.
The Partnership to End Homelessness is a coalition of 80 agencies that provide housing and services to people who are homeless in metropolitan Chicago, giving a vast range of services to people experiencing homelessness: shelter, permanent housing, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and employment training. These organizations comprise the majority of Chicago’s homeless service system. Together, Partnership members operate over 5,000 beds of shelter and housing. The ultimate goal of the Partnership is to end homelessness in the Chicago area.