HPRI Partners

HPRI research partners support the Institute in a number of ways, including: participation in the HPRI Research Committee, the HPRI Steering Committee, and the Race Equity Committee, among other committees. Researchers also collaborate on rapid response research, and support RFPs for homelessness research. Click individual profiles to learn about research interests, expertise areas, and recent publications.

« Back to HPRI main page

Steering Committee

Nichole Fiore

Nichole Fiore

Principal Associate
Abt Associates

Nichole_Fiore@abtassoc.com


Ms. Fiore is a Principal Associate with Abt Associates with over 15 years of experience evaluating housing and homelessness programs across the country, developing deep expertise on homeless service system alignment and coordination, organizational capacity, political and community will, unsheltered homelessness, and permanent supportive housing. During her time at Abt, Ms. Fiore has successfully managed complex multimethod research projects, including the State of California’s Homeless System Landscape Assessment, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Chronic Homelessness Initiative Evaluation, the California Community Foundation’s Accelerating Permanent Supportive Housing Evaluation, LAHSA’s Transitional Housing for Youth Evaluation, and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Investigating Housing Models for Accelerating PSH Production Evaluation. She has also contributed to HUD’s Family Options Study, the HHS/HUD Study of Homeless Encampments, and HUD’s Homelessness Prevention Study. Her skills include: collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data; analyzing system alignment and coordination; working with diverse stakeholders to plan and execute evaluations; and conducting site visits, focus groups, and interviews.

Specializations:

Housing, Homelessness, Housing Interventions, Systems Change, Economics, Social Mobility, Economic Mobility

Design and execution of site visits and focus groups, multi-site random assignment evaluations, survey design and field implementation

Links to HPRI Research

Benjamin Henwood

Benjamin Henwood

Assistant Professor
USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

bhenwood@usc.edu


Benjamin Henwood, PhD, LCSW, is a recognized expert in health and housing services research whose work connects clinical interventions with social policy. Dr. Henwood has specific expertise in permanent supportive housing and on improving care for adults experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness, as well as in the integration of primary and behavioral health care. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (including the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and National Institute on Aging) and he has served as the methodological lead for the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count since 2017, which is the largest unsheltered count in the United States. He is a co-author of a book on Housing First published by Oxford University Press, and is the co-lead the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge to End Homelessness. Dr. Henwood is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

Specializations:

Health and social service delivery; homelessness; permanent supportive housing and housing first, integrated physical and behavioral healthcare

Qualitative and mixed methods design; ecological momentary assessment

Links to HPRI Research

Randall Kuhn

Randall Kuhn

Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Services
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

kuhn@ucla.edu
 @SDGoal18
  https://www.linkedin.com/in/engbiao


Randall Kuhn conducts longitudinal research on the health and well-being of unhoused populations. Kuhn conducted some of the earliest quantitative research on health and substance use risks among chronically homeless adults. He led recent studies of COVID-19 mortality by homelessness status and race/ethnicityunsheltered homelessness and health; and COVID-19 vaccination among unhoused populations. He currently leads or co-leads new studies that use mobile phones to measure the well-being of unhoused and recently-housed populations. To learn more, visit: https://www.homelessresearch.akidolabs.com/.
Specializations:
Aging, Maternal and Child Health, Demography, Global Health, Health Disparities, Health Surveillance Programs, Migration and Immigrant Health, Physical and Social Environmental Determinants of Health, Population Health

Program Planning and Evaluation, Research Methods

Links to HPRI Research

Norweeta Milburn

Norweeta Milburn

Senior Director of Research and Evaluation
Co-Director, DMH + UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence
Co-Director, UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP)
Director, Development Core, UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS)
Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

NMilburn@mednet.ucla.edu


Norweeta G. Milburn, Ph.D., is a Research Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute Nathanson Family Resilience Center in the Division of Population and Behavioral Health. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Her research interests include homelessness, substance abuse, mental health and family-based behavioral interventions.

Dr. Milburn has had grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) as a principal investigator or co-investigator. She has lead studies that have examined paths into and out of homelessness, as well as the risk for HIV among homeless youth in the U.S. and Australia; designed and implemented a behavioral intervention for homeless adolescents at risk for HIV and their families; and designed and tested recruitment strategies for behavioral substance abuse interventions. She recently completed a study adapting and testing a behavioral intervention for youth exiting the juvenile justice system and their families. She is the co-Director of a NIDA funded training program, the UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP). HA-STTP provides training and mentorship for early career ethnic and culturally diverse researchers and post-doctoral scholars to conduct research on reducing substance abuse and HIV transmission in underserved populations at risk for traumatic stress and health disparities. She is the co-Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) – UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence. She is also Director of the Development Core for the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS). She is a co-investigator for NIMH and Fogarty training grants on trauma and mental health in South Africa (Wyatt/PI) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Adolescent Trials Network (Rotheram-Borus/Swendeman/MPI). She has numerous publications and presentations in the areas of homelessness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and mental health. She has served as a standing member of NIH peer review committees, and has served as an ad hoc member of NIMH and NIDA peer review committees.

Dr. Milburn is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association (APA). She has been a member of the APA Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and chaired the APA 2009 Presidential Task Force on Psychology’s Contribution to End Homelessness. She is a member of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council. Her honors include being an inaugural member of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, the Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research, and being an honorary Professor for the Division of Psychotherapy and University of Cape Town Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health
Specializations:
Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Race, Class, Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Biobehavioral Science

Links to HPRI Research

Saba Mwine-Chang

Saba Mwine-Chang

Managing Director 
Homelessness Policy Research Institute
smwine@usc.edu


Saba Mwine (She/Her/Hers) is the managing director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI), a collaborative of over one hundred researchers, policymakers, service providers and people with lived experience that accelerate equitable and culturally informed solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County by advancing knowledge and fostering transformational partnerships between research, policy and practice. Saba has twenty years of experience spearheading housing justice work throughout the nation: measuring access to housing based on race and other protected classes and supporting equity centered collaborative initiatives in the movement to end homelessness. Saba has played numerous roles, from project designer and civil rights investigator, test coordinator to management consultant, racial equity educator and practitioner. In her tenure at the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), she worked to establish their first racial equity initiatives via fundraising, designing grant programming, developing and delivering transformative learnings, and guiding community initiatives. Saba is a classically trained actor and holds a master’s of fine arts in theatre; she is committed to the arts as a tool for healing racial trauma and shaping community spaces. In California and nationally, Saba is a prominent voice in the movement to establish racism and white supremacy culture as the most pervasive and least examined cause and perpetuator of homelessness.

As managing director of HPRI, Saba is responsible for advancing the Institute’s strategic vision to express equity in all activities and engage community with lived experience of homelessness and serves as the lead staff person for all HPRI activities, including conducting and supervising rapid response research, RFP services, and research translation. Additionally, Saba supports the implementation of HPRI’s research agenda and works in close leadership with HPRI’s Race Equity Committee and other stakeholders to establish equity frameworks for key areas of the HPRI’s work. She is also responsible for planning and producing HPRI research symposia and other events and helps conduct policy outreach at the local, state, and national levels.

Specializations:
Race Equity Training, Homelessness, Supportive Housing, Housing, Community-Based Research, Qualitative Research

Links to HPRI Research

April Nunn

April Nunn

Policy Analyst
California Policy Lab.

amnunn@g.ucla.edu


April Nunn is a policy analyst at the California Policy Lab (CPL) where she manages the Homelessness Prevention Community Advisory Board and conducts qualitative research on mixed methods projects in the homelessness portfolio. She is particularly interested in how processes can be streamlined in order to rapidly connect people who are the most vulnerable with the resources they need. Prior to joining CPL, April worked as a Program Manager at the Downtown Women’s Center where she managed the creation of an evidence-based program to house and provide supportive services to one hundred of the most vulnerable women experiencing homelessness in the Skid Row community. She was also a Program Manager at UCLA’s Center for Community Learning where she supported UCLA students with service projects in the surrounding Los Angeles community and at a nonprofit serving transition age youth experiencing homelessness, where she provided them with interim housing and services. She has conducted evaluations of LAUSD’s lowest-performing schools’ attendance to determine interventions to improve outcomes and also taught 7th grade science in St. Louis. April holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Gary Painter

Gary Painter

Academic Director
Real Estate Center at the University of Cincinnati

paintegd@ucmail.uc.edu


Gary Painter is the Academic Director of the Real Estate Center at the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as a professor of real estate and the inaugural holder of the BEARE Chair in Real Estate. Additionally, Dr. Painter is part of the University of Cincinnati’s Urban Futures initiative, where he will bring social innovation approaches to identify innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions to accelerate economic growth and socio-economic mobility to create a better future for all. He also serves as the Director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. He recently published a co-authored book entitled, “Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based Payment Systems in the UK and US.” He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter is a leading figure in the field of social innovation. In addition to his recent book, he works extensively with a variety of social innovation organizations and collective impact networks to address some of the grand challenges that society faces. His current research focuses on how to activate the social innovation process. Professor Painter also has extensive expertise in housing, urban economics, and education policy, which shapes his research on how the social innovation process can identify new models of social change within these complex policy areas.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thorton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America. Read more.
Specializations:
Urban Economics, Education, Housing, Demographics, Immigrant Integration, Employment, Social Innovation

Econometrics

Links to HPRI Research

Andy Perry

Andy Perry

Program Specialist
Analytics Center of Excellence Team
LA County CEO/CIO

APerry@ceo.lacounty.gov


Andy Perry is a member of the Analytics Center of Excellence (ACE) Team at Los Angeles County’s Office of the Chief Information Officer. Andy conducts research and evaluation projects using the OCIO’s Infohub integrated data system to gain a 360-degree view of the County’s residents and to help improve service delivery and outcomes across departments. Prior to coming to the County, Andy contributed to and ran data programs at nonprofit organizations including CSH, Enroll America, and VPIRG, as well as several successful electoral campaigns. An expert at translating back and forth between “data-speak” and “program-speak,” Andy has used data and analytics to improve program design and implementation in order to find and enroll uninsured consumers in California, guide a statewide summer door canvas to support labeling GMOs in Vermont, and better understand and meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Andy holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree from Brown University, and a preliminary teaching certificate from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Specializations:
Data integration and data policy, homelessness, anti-racist policy

Research Strengths:
Targeting, operationalizing predictive analytics, data-driven program design and management

Janey Rountree

Janey Rountree

Executive Director
California Policy Lab at UCLA

janey@cpl.ucla.edu


Janey Rountree is the founding Executive Director of the California Policy Lab at UCLA. Prior to joining CPL, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and was responsible for developing and implementing the long-term strategic plan for evidence-based public safety policy, police reform, and violence prevention in Chicago. In addition to direct oversight of the Chicago Police Department, Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management, Janey worked on policy issues that touch on violence prevention but fall outside the traditional scope of public safety, including workforce development, homelessness, education, school climate, youth employment, mentoring, and mental health. During her tenure in Chicago, Janey helped to promote evidence-based policy by working closely with researchers to evaluate publicly funded programs and to scale up the ones that were proven effective. Prior to working in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, she was the Firearms Policy Coordinator senior counsel for New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She has practiced law, taught high school, and worked in the non-profit sector. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D./LL.M from Duke Law School.

Specializations:

Public policy, Public safety, Constitutional policing, Violence prevention, Education, Emergency management, Homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Suzette Shaw

Suzette Shaw

Mental Health Peer Advocate, MHA
California Black Women’s Health Advocate
  suzetteshaw2010@yahoo.com


Suzette Shaw is the National Alliance to End Homelessness Representative for Los Angeles and the vice-chair of the Continuum of Care Board where HUD dollars come into Los Angeles. She was appointed to the LA County Racial Equity Steering Committee, post the sunset of the LA County Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness. She was a part of the body that designed the (67) recommendations that are now being used as a national model through the publication we designed of the same name. In addition, the University of Southern California (USC ) Homeless Policy Research Institute (HPRI) tapped her as their next national committee co-chair. Lastly, she is the first fourth-term United States of Women Ambassador (USOW) and was former Senator Holly J. Mitchell’s 2020 choice for “woman of the year”. This was her last year holding her state office before being elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors. And as a poetess, she uses spoken word to story tell, thus, amplifying chronic and systemic inequality while calling action for change(s) .

Links to HPRI Research

Patricia St. Clair

Patricia St. Clair

Director of Data Core
USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics

pstclair@usc.edu


Patricia St. Clair is director of the Data Core at the USC Schaeffer Center. The Data Core provides support for the center’s analytic computing and data resources that are key to its research. The Data Core team includes research programmers, a statistician and an information scientist who provide technical help and training to center students, postdocs, staff, faculty and collaborators; directly support specific research projects; and manage the center’s data infrastructure.

St. Clair has experience with a wide variety of data used in research including longitudinal surveys, Census data and claims data. Prior to joining the Schaeffer Center, she supported research projects on health, education and aging at RAND for nearly 20 years. She earned her ScB in Computer Science from Brown University and has studied neurobehavioral genetics, focusing on circadian rhythms and sleep, in the Inter-departmental Program in Neuroscience at UCLA.

Specializations:

Education, Health, Neurobehavioral Genetics, Homelessness

Census Data, Longitudinal Surveys, Data Infrastructure

Links to HPRI Research

Nick Weinmeister

Nick Weinmeister

Project Specialist
Homelessness Policy Research Institute
 weinmeis@usc.edu


Nick Weinmeister (he/him/his) is a Project Specialist at the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, where he developed his interests in housing and homelessness policy, as well as strategies using policy, research, and communication as tools to pursue social and racial justice.

Nick comes to HPRI after working with the policy team at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. During his time in local government, Nick facilitated a variety of research on emerging issues in homelessness, created policies pursuant to the goals of the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, developed processes to ensure high levels of culturally-informed agency operations, and wrote myriad reports and resources for providers, elected officials, and the general public. In his free time, Nick loves to attend live music performances and watch and play soccer.

Links to HPRI Research

Race Equity Committee

Hugo Aguas

Hugo Aguas

Doctoral Student
Department of Sociology, University of Washington

haguas@uw.edu
 @HugoAguas3


Since 2016, I have amassed a range of on-the ground experience and worked on diverse research opportunities in the movement to end homelessness. As a graduate student at California State University- Los Angeles, I authored three pieces titled: A Demographic Study of LA County’s Homeless; The Benefits of an Intersectional Study: Employment, Governmental Assistance, and Income; and Incarceration Experience and Depression Among the Homeless in Los Angeles County: A Mediating Effect on Economic Resources and Social Support. After completing my research at Cal State LA, I transitioned to case management for The People Concern whose mission is to house people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. I can proudly say that I housed nearly 45 individuals and was a lead-houser on the E6 Generalist Team. After a year of working on the ground, I was keen to transition to a role more closely related to my field of study and became a research associate for the Nation Health Care for the Homeless Council(NHCHC).

At the NHCHC, I have grown as a researcher and an advocate on the national front. From my work, I’ve learned to tell a story of systemic failure and depravity, which has been done through the quantification of national data relating to the performance and well-being of federally qualified health centers, I created a fact sheet on COVID-19 in collaboration with HRSA; facilitated an array of technical assistance trainings relating to race, diabetes, obesity, housing scarcity, etc.; and have presented findings to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In addition to my technical work, I have spoken with Alaska Public Radio(a subsidiary of NPR) on the possible development of temporary housing for the homeless in Anchorage. I am proud to be a fierce advocate on the ground and from a research perspective.

In addition to my research experience, in July of 2020, I worked for The Center of Blessed Sacrament in the Westlake/MacArthur Park area, where I took on the role as a service coordinator and, ultimately, a program manager. In this role, I was responsible for ensuring that everyone received equitable housing services at a federally funded Project Roomkey site by following up on one’s health care, housing status, and service continuation despite the surging COVID-19 pandemic. After the project, I worked as a weekend service coordinator at the Downtown Women’s Center until the end of the project in December of 2021.

After my time at the National Health Care for the Homeless and Downtown Women’s Center, I worked as a Risk Mitigation Program Manager for the Department of Health Services, where I was tasked to support interim housing sites in Los Angeles using a data-driven racial equity framework against COVID-19 and influenza until July 2022. Hugo is currently at the University of Washington as a Ph.D. Student at the Department of Sociology working on demography and Latino home

Specializations:

Mental health, Housing Instability, COVID-19 in Homeless Health Care, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Housing and Health Care, Social Stratification, Quantitative Research 

Research Strengths:

Quantitative Research Methods, Data Visualization, Baron and Kenny Methodology, Compiling and Utilizing Large Disaggregated Data Sets 

Ricky Bluthenthal

Ricky Bluthenthal

Professor of Preventative Medicine; Associate Dean for Social Justice
Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
rbluthen@usc.edu


Ricky N. Bluthenthal is the Associate Dean for Social Justice and a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Institute for Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He received a BA in History and Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz and a PhD in sociology from the University of California Berkeley. His research has established the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs, tested novel interventions and strategies to reduce HIV risk and improve HIV testing among injection drug users and men who have sex with men, documented how community conditions contribute to health disparities, and examined health policy implementation. His current studies include a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a single session intervention to reduce injection initiation risk behaviors among established people who inject drugs and an observational epidemiological study to examine if increased cannabis availability results to decreased opioid use among people who inject drugs. Dr. Bluthenthal has authored or co-authored over 130 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, The Lancet, Addiction, and Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research among others.

Links to HPRI Research

Lynden Bond

Lynden Bond

Research Associate
Urban Institute, Metropolitan and Communities Policy Center
lbond@urban.org


Lynden Bond, LMSW, is a researcher and advocate whose work aims to reduce barriers for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in accessing housing and health and behavioral health services. Lynden’s research interests include social determinants of health, housing insecurity, homelessness, and behavioral health. Recent projects have explored service user perspectives on homeless outreach, and examining the experiences of formerly homeless adults living in hotels during COVID-19. Her current research focuses on how housing insecurity and homelessness impact access to mental health and substance use treatment services among emergency department patients. Lynden’s direct-practice experiences include being a clinical supervisor in a homeless outreach program and in a permanent supportive housing program for individuals with histories of homelessness and behavioral health needs. She is passionate about and committed to using community-empowered methods and partnering with people with lived expertise in her research and advocacy. Lynden holds a PhD in Social Work from New York University.

Specializations:

Homelessness and housing, behavioral health, mental health and substance use services, homeless services research, policy

Research Strengths:

Mixed methods research, qualitative research, community-engaged methods

Links to HPRI Research

Millie Brown

Millie Brown

Advocate
 milliescorpio@yahoo.com
@milliebcsh


My journey to Advocacy began in 2014 when I was accepted into the CSH Speak-Up Advocacy Program, I graduated in 2015 and became a CSH Speak-Up Advocate I began speaking and sharing my Lived Experiences with Childhood Trauma , Homelessness and Domestic Violence. In 2018 I became a Advocate/Member of the Domestic Violence and Homeless Services Coalition through the DWC (downtown women’s center) Downtown L.A. Skid Row. I’ve also had the opportunity to sit on the Board of Directors for Brilliant Corners Non-Profit Organization for 3 years.

Maya Buenaventura

Maya Buenaventura

Research Manager
California Policy Lab
mayabuena@g.ucla.edu


Maya Buenaventura is a Research Manager with the California Policy Lab. Prior to joining CPL, she was a Los Angeles County Management Fellow with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. In that role, she designed and implemented programs to address complex public policy matters such as decriminalization of street vending and developing alternatives to payday, auto title, and other high-cost loans.

Prior to working for Los Angeles County, Maya was a PhD candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. Maya’s work at RAND consisted primarily of evaluations of interventions targeting individuals in the criminal-justice system, individuals experiencing homelessness, low-income families, and other vulnerable populations. Before her time at RAND, Maya worked as a commercial litigator at a large international law firm and volunteered as a pro bono attorney for numerous organizations, representing immigrants, victims of trafficking, and victims of domestic abuse.

Maya holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law, and a B.A. in economics from Oglethorpe University.

Patrick Burns

Patrick Burns

Senior Researcher
Economic Roundtable

patrickburns@economicrt.org


Patrick joined the Economic Roundtable in 2002, following training in Economic Geography at Clark University, Kent State University and UCLA. He is a public policy researcher specializing in labor market dynamics, poverty, public assistance, housing, displacement, industry change and urban geography, with experience analyzing outcomes for detailed neighborhoods and groups of workers.

Specializations:

Employment, Wages, Housing, Displacement, Public Assistance, Urban Geography, Labor Market Dynamics, Industry Change

Research Strengths:

Compiling, merging and analyzing large public and confidential data sets; GIS-based spatial analysis

Links to HPRI Research

Melissa Chinchilla

Melissa Chinchilla

Research Scientist
AltaMed

mechinchilla@altamed.org


Before joining AltaMed as a Research Scientist, Melissa Chinchilla was a Post Doctoral Fellow in Health Services Research and Development at the Veteran Administration of Greater Los Angeles and a Master of Science candidate in Health Policy Management at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.

Dr. Chinchilla’s research rests at the intersection of housing, health, and community development. Her dissertation examined the community integration outcomes of formerly homeless individuals assisted through the VA’s largest homeless program, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (VASH). Dr. Chinchilla’s research on HUD-VASH points to the importance of voucher type and neighborhood factors in assuring that formerly homeless individuals in supportive housing are able to achieve housing stability and improvements in quality of life. Dr. Chinchilla’s current research examines Latino homelessness in Los Angeles County, including what is driving the increase in Latino homelessness, gaps in housing and service provision, and best practices for serving this population. Dr. Chinchilla has also published on the use of Health Impact Assessment as an interdisciplinary teaching tool, and continues to examine ways to bridge the divide between public health and urban planning disciplines.

Dr. Chinchilla’s work has been published by MIT Press and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. She has received research funding from the Pricilla King Gray Public Service Center, Sagalyn and Hack Dissertation Grant, and the Veteran Administration Research Enhancement Award Program.

Dr. Chinchilla earned her doctorate in Urban Studies and Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds a master in City and Regional Planning and bachelor degrees in Social Welfare and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Affordable Housing, Social Determinants of Health

Links to HPRI Research

Jessica Monge Coria

Jessica Monge Coria

Regional Manager, Community Development
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Jessica.Coria@sf.frb.org


Jessica Monge Coria joined the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2020 as a Regional Manager for Southern California. Jessica is responsible for fostering strategic partnerships with cross-sector stakeholders and community partners to bring the best thinking and resources together to address the barriers to economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income communities.

Prior to joining the SF Fed, Jessica worked to expand affordable housing and supportive services for individuals experiencing homelessness throughout the western states. For eight years, she worked with Los Angeles philanthropic funders and early care and education organizations to develop programs and coalitions to help young children and their families thrive. Jessica also has prior experience in research and program evaluation, working on large scale data development projects including efforts around the 2010 U.S. Census. Jessica is a Southern California native and received a B.A. in Economics from Occidental College and a Master of Public Policy from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Specializations:

Supportive housing, Outcomes-based finance, pay for success, child welfare system

Administrative data, data dashboards for program implementation and monitoring, needs estimates and cost modeling, transactoin structuring for outcomes-based financing models

Robynn Cox

Robynn Cox

Assistant Professor, Ph.D
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

robynnco@usc.edu


Robynn Cox is an assistant professor and a member of the faculty at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Her research interests include the fields of crime, health, labor, and social and racial inequality. She has primarily focused on understanding the social and economic consequences of mass incarceration. Cox was a 2014-15 Resource Center for Minority Aging Research Scholar at the USC Schaeffer Center, where her research explored the impact of incarceration on health outcomes over the lifespan. Most recently, she received a Russell Sage Foundation Presidential Authority Award to investigate the relationship between perceptions of criminality, race, trust and employment outcomes (with Jennifer Doleac, Benjamin Hansen and Sarah Jacobson). Cox’s research has also been funded by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research through the Research Program on Childhood Hunger and the Young Investigator Development Grant.

Her work has been published in various academic and policy outlets such as the Southern Economic Journal and the Economic Policy Institute. In addition, she has presented her research at numerous professional conferences and has been featured on both locally and nationally syndicated radio programs such as NPR. In 2011, she was invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to take part in a roundtable conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien on workforce development and employment strategies of the formerly incarcerated.

Prior to her appointment at USC, Cox served as an assistant professor at Spelman College and a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Economics at Duke University. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in economics from Georgia State University, where she was awarded the Andrew Young Fellowship. Cox completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University, where she obtained a dual bachelor’s in economics and Spanish and Latin American studies.

Specializations:

Economics, Social and Racial Inequity, Social Work, Education, Mass Incarceration, Health, Wellness, Labor

Links to HPRI Research

Rashida Crutchfield

Rashida Crutchfield

Assistant Professor EdD, MSW
Cal State Long Beach School of Social Work

rashida.crutchfield@csulb.edu


Dr. Rashida Crutchfield is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach. She earned a Master of Social Work at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from CSULB. She worked for the National Conference for Community and Justice in Long Beach and the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri before serving on the Covenant House California staff. Experience at this Los Angeles shelter for 18-to-24-year-olds experiencing homelessness gave her insight into practice, building rapport and intervention with this population’s strengths, needs and perspectives.

Dr. Crutchfield has been a faculty member in the CSULB School of Social Work since 2007 as field faculty and lecturer. She began as an assistant professor in 2014 with a focus on practice and research in youth homelessness, access to higher education, social and economic development, and social work community practice. She was the Principal Investigator for Phase I of the CSU Office of the Chancellor’s Study on Basic Needs, and Co-Principal Investigator for phases II and III. These studies are the largest of their kind.

Specializations:

Macro Social Work Practitioner, Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Food Security, Higher Education Access, Race

Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis with an emphasis on recruiting and engaging people who have experienced trauma

Links to HPRI Research

Fabricia da Hora Pereira

Fabricia da Hora Pereira

Social Worker
Human Rights Centers
Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios (MPDFT)


 fabriciahora@gmail.com


Fabricia da Hora Pereira, PhD in Public Policy, is Principal Researcher for Human Rights Centers, at Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios (MPDFT) in Brasília, Brazil, where she designs, evaluates, and implements programs and initiatives to address the shelters, social service, health and violation of human rights of vulnerable populations. She moved to Los Angeles in 2020. Dr. da Hora Pereira has been researching homelessness in Brazil since 2009, she is an expert in qualitative method analysis, such as: interviews, focus groups, life histories and field research techniques, including race and gender analysis.

She has experience in quantitative analysis of population profiles and socioeconomic indicators. Currently, Dr. da Hora Pereira coordinates an interdisciplinary team for three research studies at the Human Rights Centers: 1- evaluation of homeless shelters for adults and families; 2- social distancing and gender violence against women during the pandemic; 3- examine the current public policies implemented by the Executive branch of the Distrito Federal for homeless people.

In the area of homelessness, her research studies were the first initiative that involved the use of consistent techniques of public policy analysis at Human Rights Centers and it was transformed into a permanent program. At the same time, the research results have been used to support government and non-profit organizations to implement public policies for homeless people based on evidence.

The results of the projects about gender and violence against women were used by the Members of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Femicide to support the elaboration of legislative proposals to prevent domestic violence and femicide in Brasilia, Brazil.

Since 2020 she joined the Task Force in Monitoring the Actions to Combat and Prevent the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) to evaluate the public policies implemented by the Governo do Distrito Federal during the pandemic for homeless people.

In 2019 she participated in the team that prepared the Gender, Race and Diversity Equality Policy of the Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios which included a proposed action to implement the policy.

She worked in health services and shelters for homeless people, including the design of the shelter’s policy, and participated in the government commission that developed public policies for this population in Brasília. During the years 2015 to 2017, she was a professor at Faculdade Evangélica de Brasília and coordinated a Project to Prevent Violations of the Rights of Homeless People.
Specializations:
Gender, race, homelessness and housing, social determinants of health, mental health: alcohol and other drug abuse and trauma, social service, and the violation of human rights of vulnerable populations
Research Strengths:
Research methods and evaluation, including interviews, focus groups, life histories, field research techniques, quantitative analysis of population profile, and socioeconomic indicators

Links to HPRI Research

Earl Edwards

Earl Edwards

Doctoral Candidate
UCLA Graduate School of Education and Informational Studies

eedwards02@ucla.edu

Earl Edwards is a Ph.D. student at the University of California Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He completed his Master’s Degree in Public School Leadership from Columbia University and received his B.A. in Sociology from Boston College. His current research interests focus on how American public schools can better support youth experiencing homelessness.

Earl has over ten years of professional experience in youth development and curriculum design. As a school administrator and classroom teacher, Earl has designed and facilitated district-wide professional development modules covering data analysis, formative assessments, and effective teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities. Earl also co-authored graduate course curriculums focusing on educational leadership development in urban public schools for Columbia University Teachers College principal certification program. In addition to his expertise in curriculum development, Earl has founded and contributed to several youth development programs that support Black and Latino males across the country.

Specializations:

Student Homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Andrea Garcia

Andrea Garcia

Physician 
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

acgarcia@dmh.lacounty.gov


Dr. Andrea Garcia is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, and she is Mexican. Dr. Garcia is a physician at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health where her clinical work is at the directly operated American Indian Counseling Center. Her other time is spent on community-centered initiatives and research that addresses the social and structural determinants of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) health.

Through her appointments as a Commissioner with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, and her affiliation with the Center for Health Services and Society in the Department of Psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Garcia has been able to employ community partnered participatory research methods to better understand homelessness among AIAN in Los Angeles County. Though her strengths are in quantitative methodologies she has come to fully appreciate the value of mixed methods, particularly when engaging with communities who are undercounted or misclassified in quantitative data. Dr. Garcia also has interests in AIAN health equity, workforce diversity in the health professions, and is serving as Guest Assistant Editor for the MedEdPORTAL Call for Submissions: American Indian, Alaska Native and Indigenous Perspectives.

Dr. Garcia is a proud graduate of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program where she obtained her master’s degree in health and medical sciences from UC Berkeley and her medical degree from UCSF. She trained in General and Preventive Medicine and completed a fellowship with the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA in research and policy.

Cheryl Grills

Cheryl Grills

Director
Loyola Marymount University Psychology Applied Research Center

cheryl.grills@lmu.edu


Dr. Grills is a Clinical Psychologist with a current emphasis in Community Psychology. She has been on the faculty with LMU for 29 years and is a tenured full Professor. She is a national Past President of the Association of Black Psychologists and founder of Imoyase Community Support Services (ICSS). She currently serves as a Los Angeles County Commissioner on the Sybil Brand Commission for Institutional Inspections, which focuses on conditions and practices within county jails, probation and correctional facilities, and group homes for children. Dr. Grills also served as Co-Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection whose work led to significant reforms in LA County’s approach to child welfare, including establishment of an Office of Child Protection that is designed to reduce the fragmented approach to child welfare in LA and coordinate countywide efforts that require collaboration across disparate County departments.

Dr. Grills is regularly called upon as a keynote speaker, trainer, or technical consultant within the mental and behavioral health field. She is currently part of the leadership of a team (consisting of the Community Healing Network and The Association of Black Psychologists) working with CIBHS to establish a CDEP for people of African ancestry. She has over 25 years of experience with multi-site, multi-year and multi-level program evaluations and the provision of technical assistance support via her work as Director of PARC@LMU and its sister organization Imoyase Community Support Services (ICSS).

Her research interests, publications, and projects include African Psychology, African-centered models of treatment engagement with African-Americans; substance abuse prevention and treatment; community psychology; community mental health, prevention, and action research; and program evaluation with community based organizations engaged in social action, community change and prevention on a host of issues.

Specializations:

Community Psychology, Substance Abuse Prevention, Social Action, African Psychology

Institutional inspections, Program Evaluation

Taylor Harris

Taylor Harris

Core Investigator

Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP)

Taylor.Harris2@va.gov


Taylor Harris, PhD, MA, is a core investigator for the Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP) at the VA Greater Los Angeles. Guided by her professional training in the fields of clinical psychology and social work, Dr. Harris’ research agenda focuses on mental health and behavioral health of persons with experiences of homelessness and enhancing housing and services to improve their health outcomes. During her doctoral training at the University of Southern California, she received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for her dissertation which examined multi-level socioecological factors that affect smoking behavior trajectories from homelessness to housing. At the VA, Dr. Harris served as a post-doctoral fellow through the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans. As a CSHIIP investigator, she serves as the PI for two projects that aim to improve smoking cessation services for homeless-experienced Veterans, and another project examining workforce wellbeing among community-based homeless service providers implementing an evidence-based case management practice.

 

Topical Interests/Experience related to homelessness:

  • Evidence-based practices within homeless services
  • Tailoring mental health and behavioral health care for PEH
  • Tobacco use, Smoking cessation
  • Case manager’s wellbeing, burnout
  • Community integration
  • Models of supportive housing
  • Social support, social networks
  • Built environment, socio-environmental factors and their impact on health outcomes
  • Street medicine (some experience)

Links to HPRI Research

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro

Professor and Chair of Gender Studies
University of Southern California

ahancock@usc.edu


Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro is Professor and Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and a globally recognized scholar of intersectionality theory, the world’s leading analytical framework for analyzing and resolving inequality. She has written numerous articles and three books on the intersections of categories of difference like race, gender, class, sexuality and citizenship and their impact on policy: the award-winning The Politics of Disgust and the Public Identity of the “Welfare Queen,” (2004), Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics (2011) and Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (2016). The applied forms of her research focus on diverse donors in philanthropy, partnerships between funders and nonprofits for social change, and cross-sector training of leaders to implement intersectionality.

In 1993, under the mentorship of NBA Hall of Famer Tom “Satch” Sanders, Hancock Alfaro conducted the original survey research and designed the business model for the Women’s National Basketball Association. The only women’s professional basketball league to succeed in the United States, the WNBA began its 21st season in May 2017. Her recent collaborative work includes service on the Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation and work with both Hispanas Organized for Political Empowerment (HOPE) and the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI). She sits on four boards: the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), Community Partners, LAAWPPI, and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Political Empowerment (SCOPE-LA).

Her current work includes new research projects on asylum requests for survivors of domestic violence, empirical applications of intersectionality, and the free speech-hate speech debate.

Specializations:

American Politics, Political Theory, Public Policy, Race/Ethnic Politics, Gender Politics, Intersectionality

Links to HPRI Research

Erika Hartman

Erika Hartman

Executive Director
Safe Place for Youth

erika@safeplaceforyouth.org


Erika Hartman joined Safe Place for Youth in 2021 as the Executive Director, after 15 years in the non-profit sector supporting people experiencing homelessness and underserved youth. Hartman was formerly the Chief Program Officer of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC), a nationally recognized homeless services organization, located in the heart of Skid Row. During her tenure at DWC, Hartman led the unprecedented growth of programs, dramatically increasing the impact, budget size, number of staff and women served. Hartman also led organizational DEI initiatives, and the prescriptive program model development of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to implement the recommendations of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Ad Hoc Committees on Black People Experience Homelessness and Women Experiencing Homelessness. Hartman has also been actively involved in legislative advocacy, at a local and national level, testifying before Congress on the state of homelessness in Los Angeles, and serving as a State Captain for the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Prior to her work at DWC, Hartman served as the Chief Program Officer of Allies for Every Child, a Los Angeles -based child welfare organization, where she led the agency’s national accreditation and was instrumental in shaping the organization’s strategic plan. Hartman also has a background in gang intervention and working with youth in the juvenile justice system, and oversaw programs at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, through Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s initiative on gang reduction and youth development.

Hartman has served on the boards of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the Los Angeles Central Providers Collaborative, and the University of Southern California LGBTQ Alumni Association, as well as the Homeless Policy and Research Institute’s Race Equity Committee, and Los Angeles County Commission on Women’s Health Committee. Hartman is also a licensed marriage and family therapist, and received her Master’s degree from the University of Southern California, and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Brian Hui

Brian Hui

Director of Research and Evaluation
Special Service for Groups

bhui@ssg.org


Brian Hui a community-based scholar-practitioner who believes that research practice should inform public policy and guide community transformation. In the last 12 years, he has worked in a variety of roles in non-profit leadership, providing services for basic needs, public benefits, housing, immigration, healthcare navigation, cultural development, leadership development, and policy advocacy. Additionally, he has led community research teams in community based participatory research projects studying public health risk factors and interventions among Pacific Islander communities in Southern California, including several NIH funded RO1 studies.

Dr. Hui is passionate about the applications of research not only to community well-being but also to broader issues of social justice. Dr. Hui has spent much of his career as a practitioner, and previously served as the Community Development Manager, overseeing the development and construction of a client supportive housing project for SSG. As Director of Research & Evaluation for Special Service for Groups, he practices a community-engaged approach to research to ensure the development of culturally and linguistically competent research tools and protocols, community-informed interpretation of data, and community inclusion in data ownership, dissemination, and human subjects’ protections processes. He also serves as the Administrator for Special Service for Groups, Inc.’s Community Institutional Review Board.

Dr. Hui brings a deep understanding of civic engagement theory and practice. His own research has focused on civic engagement, democratic theory, organizational management, and power. He has studied participatory and inclusive practices in the Los Angeles and written several policy briefs on youth development needs and youth-serving government entities in the City of Los Angeles. Overall, Dr. Hui’s research and vocational interests direct him towards issues and topics relating to the intersection of community organizing, social justice, community health, political power, and institutional reform.

Specializations:

  • Program evaluation of homeless and behavioral health service provision
  • Health disparities, ethnic and linguistic data disaggregation
  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches, needs assessment
  • Evaluation technical assistance and capacity building
  • Science communication and visualization

Aras Jizan

Aras Jizan

Portfolio Lead for Data and Technology
Built for Zero
Community Solutions 

ajizan@community.solutions


Aras is the Head of Data and Technology for the Built for Zero initiative at Community Solutions. In this role, he leads a team that develops and deploys metrics, tools, and trainings that empower communities to leverage data analytics in their work to end homelessness. Prior to joining Community Solutions, Aras worked as a consultant specializing in the measurement and evaluation of food security projects in the developing world. Aras holds degrees from the University of Toronto and UCLA, served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team, and sits on the board of Our Minds Matter, a nonprofit organization working toward the day when no teenager turns to suicide.

Specializations:

Data for improvement, homelessness, data science

Research Strengths:

Applied statistics, data integrations

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

Director
Greater LA Coalition on Homelessness

jjones@glach.org
 @JerryJonesLA


Jerry Jones directs the Greater LA Coalition on Homelessness, an extensive network of nonprofit service organizations at the forefront of tackling homelessness. The coalition includes SPA leads, shelters and missions, domestic violence agencies, supportive housing developers, and other providers of family, youth, and adult homeless services. Jones is the former Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless and National Field Director at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. He served on the senior staff of the Center for Community Change. Other past roles include National Director of Project Vote and Director of Public Policy at the Inner City Law Center. He is widely recognized for his skills in coalition building and grassroots policy campaigns.

Specializations:

Housing, Homelessness, Public Policy, Social and Racial Inequity

Links to HPRI Research

Va Lecia Adams Kellum

Va Lecia Adams Kellum

President & CEO
St. Joseph Center

vadams@stjosephctr.org


President & CEO Va Lecia Adams Kellum joined St. Joseph Center in 2008, bringing extensive experience in nonprofit management to the agency. During her tenure, St. Joseph Center has more than doubled in size, expanded its range of services, and broadened the organization’s geographic reach to include underserved communities in South Los Angeles.

Dr. Adams Kellum is the former Chair of the Westside Coalition and represented Service Planning Area 5 on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Coordinating Council for many years. In February 2017 she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the newly established No Place Like Home Program Advisory Committee, which was established to assist and advise the California Department of Housing and Community Development on the program’s successful implementation.

Dr. Adams Kellum graduated with a B.A. from the University of Southern California and earned an M.A. from Ball State University before completing her Ph.D. at Stanford University. Throughout her doctoral program, she examined the factors that create stress in ethnic minority youth, such as poverty, academic underachievement, and family dynamics. Prior to coming to St. Joseph Center, Dr. Adams Kellum applied her research for six years as the Director of Transitional Living for United Friends of the Children (UFC). While at UFC, she helped create and oversee Pathways, an 18-month transitional living program that assists former foster youth with housing, college readiness, career development, financial assistance, mentoring, and individual counseling.
Specializations:
Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Race, Equity, Food Insecurity, Employment

Melissa King

Melissa King

Principal
People’s Health Solutions 

mking@peopleshealthsolutions.com
@peoples_health
  www.linkedin.com/in/melissaanneking/


Melissa King, PhD, MPA, is co-principal of People’s Health Solutions, a team of scientists and artists whose mission is building healthy and sustainable communities. In this role, she is helping changemakers to understand community needs, design people-centered solutions, and show their impact through data visualization and storytelling.

A social and behavioral scientist, Dr. King uses community-based participatory approaches to understand the myriad of factors that influence health and human behavior. Prior to founding PHS, she was a researcher and co-instructor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, where her focus was primary care and mental health integration and building healing-centered organizations.

A former science journalist, Dr. King has 20 years of experience in creative communication that she pairs with her research training to address timely housing policy research questions. This has most recently included a landscape analysis of Los Angeles city and county healthcare coordination and rapid-response research on experiences of intimate partner violence during COVID-19. A strong believer in democratic approaches to research and evaluation, she uses compassionate facilitation to empower people with lived experience at all stages. Dr. King holds a PhD in Social & Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin. Her academic research is centered around how civic engagement can contribute to the implementation of more effective public health initiatives. She has also researched the application of social capital theory to anti-poverty and public housing programs.

Dr. King is dedicated to advancing race and gender equity, and she is a member of the HPRI Race Equity Committee, American Evaluation Association, and National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation.

Specializations:

Housing and homelessness (with particular focus on transition-age youth), primary care and mental health integration, community safety, racial and gender equity, and intimate partner violence

Links to HPRI Research

Michael Lens

Michael Lens

Associate Faculty Director; Associate Professor
UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies; UCLA Department of Urban Planning & Policy

mlens@ucla.edu


A large and growing body of research shows that neighborhoods matter for several life outcomes including economic mobility, education, and safety. For many reasons, positive neighborhood attributes remain unattainable for low-income households in many U.S. metropolitan areas. Professor Lens’ work fulfills gaps in the literature that evaluates the potential for housing policy to reduce this separation by focusing on neighborhood safety and access to jobs. This research contributes to this literature in both conceptual and empirical ways. Specifically, this research 1) measures the neighborhood conditions of families that receive housing subsidies; 2) analyzes the potential interactions of crime with subsidized housing and commercial development; 3) identifies how residential location affects employment outcomes; and 4) improves how scholars and policy makers measure neighborhood opportunity for low-income households.

In recent research, Professor Lens is studying the effect of the housing bust on housing subsidy demand and local government finances, the role of public investments in gentrification processes, and the spatial concentration of eviction. Professor Lens’ research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.

Among several grants, Professor Lens has – along with fellow UCLA Urban Planning Professor Paavo Monkkonen – a multiyear grant from the MacArthur Foundation to study the effect of the housing boom and bust on local government finances.

Professor Lens teaches courses on Quantitative Analysis, Community-Based Research, Housing Markets and Policy, Poverty and Inequality, and Research Methods.

Specializations:

Community Development, Criminal Justice, Race, Class, Gender, Equity, Employment, Affordable Housing, Neighborhood Effects, Poverty

Quantitative methods, spatial analysis

Veronica Lewis

Veronica Lewis

Director
Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System, a division of Special Service for Groups

vlewis@hopics.org
@beingmrsv


Veronica Lewis, Master of Public of Administration is a recognized leader in Los Angeles County in the Homeless Services, Substance Use Support and Reentry sectors and is the Director of the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System Division of Special Service for Groups (SSG/HOPICS) where she oversees more than 90 million dollars in annual funding for multi-service programs including: mental health, substance use disorder treatment, reentry support, homeless services, permanent housing programs and sites, and trauma-focused services. HOPICS has permanently housed thousands of households under her leadership.

Under her leadership as Director since January 2011, HOPICS’ annual budget has increased by 2100 percent and the workforce by nine (9) times greater in 12 years. Veronica has worked tirelessly as an advocate to improve and coordinate homeless services in LA County- in particular the Service Planning Area Sixth Region (SPA 6) which is made up of South LA and the Cities of Compton, Lynwood and Paramount. Veronica is the founder of the thriving SPA 6 Homeless Coalition. She has played an integral role in the development of the ever-expanding LA Continuum homeless systems of care as the lead for SPA 6’s Coordinated Entry System for homeless individuals and families. In 2014 Veronica led and developed the one-of-a kind SPA 6 Family Crisis Housing Network that formed in response to the changing system of care for homeless families in LA County. The Network consists of a blend of homeless and housing providers that provide short to medium term crisis and bridge housing for families working toward permanent housing through the local Family Solutions Center- and still keeps 300 families with children off of the street every night in interim housing present day. Due to her leadership and advocacy HOPICS opened the first publicly funded interim housing location for transgender women and non-binary individuals in Los Angeles. Under her leadership, HOPICS has permanently housed more than 5000 homeless families within the last 10 years. Veronica has represented the interest of SPA 6 and the LA Continuum of Care (CoC) as member and Chair of the CoC Board and Coordinating Council. Veronica is also a Los Angeles County Public Social Services Commissioner appointed by LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

She has worked diligently to secure housing resources and build the capacity of small homeless and reentry agencies in South LA and the Cities of Compton and Lynwood. In her daily work Veronica has and continues to advocate for racial equity and honest dialogue about ways to improve the overwhelming number of health, economic, carceral and housing disparities for black people and other people of color in LA County. She deeply understands the intersection of race, homelessness, behavioral health and the criminal justice systems. She was a member of the Los Angeles Ad Hoc Committee on Black People experiencing Homelessness (BPEH) and delegation of members responsible for finalizing the report and recommendations and currently serves on the Implementation Steering Committee for BPEH which is responsible for implementation oversight of the recommendations. Veronica is also a member of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) Racial Equity Steering Committee.

Veronica served as the Chair for two years of the Los Angeles Care First and Community Investment or CFCI (formerly Measure J) Advisory Committee and led the process of developing a recommended transformative spending plan that resulted in LA County funding $287 Million for the first two inaugural years (FY 22-23) of investment into alternatives to incarceration and addressing racial inequities. CFCI funds diversion and reentry services, de-carceration of LA County jails, primary health, behavioral health, housing, economic development, and youth support. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP).

In addition to her contribution to local Los Angeles City and County homeless/housing, reentry and SUD systems, programs and policies, Veronica also lends her expertise to help shape policies, best practices and projects at the state and national level through her participation as a Councilmember on the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) appointed by Speaker Anthony Rendon; member of the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee for California Courts Judicial Council (CJCAC) and Chair of CJCAC’s Racial Equity and Inclusion Workgroup; National Alliance to End Homelessness- Capacity Building Network; National Research Council- Transportation Research Board for the Airport Cooperative Research Program Project 03-59 Panel to help develop best practices nationwide to address homelessness at airports; and as a member of the California Department of Health Care Services Proposition 64 Advisory Group where she helps shape program design and utilization of more than 60 million for the Youth Education Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account (YEPEITA).
Specializations:
Street-based engagement, coordinated entry system, homeless emergency services and interim housing, permanent housing interventions, support for people who are justice-involved, the intersection of homelessness, behavioral health, and reentry

Rue Mansour

Rue Mansour

Program Associate
Advocates for Human Potential
  ruemansour@gmail.com
 @RueMansour
  www.linkedin.com/ruqayyahmansour/


Rue Mansour is currently a Program Associate at Advocates for Human Potential as well as Ph.D. student at the Gervitz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in international relations and a minor in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a graduate student, her interests focus on American educational policy as it pertains to youth experiencing homelessness.

Rue has over ten years of experience working with nonprofit and private organizations that support youth experiencing homelessness. She has served several roles including program associate, recruitment coordinator, instructional coordinator, curriculum on homelessness co-author, and operations staff, among other roles.

Norweeta Milburn

Norweeta Milburn

Senior Director of Research and Evaluation
Co-Director, DMH + UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence
Co-Director, UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP)
Director, Development Core, UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS)
Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

NMilburn@mednet.ucla.edu


Norweeta G. Milburn, Ph.D., is a Research Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute Nathanson Family Resilience Center in the Division of Population and Behavioral Health. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Her research interests include homelessness, substance abuse, mental health and family-based behavioral interventions.

Dr. Milburn has had grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) as a principal investigator or co-investigator. She has lead studies that have examined paths into and out of homelessness, as well as the risk for HIV among homeless youth in the U.S. and Australia; designed and implemented a behavioral intervention for homeless adolescents at risk for HIV and their families; and designed and tested recruitment strategies for behavioral substance abuse interventions. She recently completed a study adapting and testing a behavioral intervention for youth exiting the juvenile justice system and their families. She is the co-Director of a NIDA funded training program, the UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP). HA-STTP provides training and mentorship for early career ethnic and culturally diverse researchers and post-doctoral scholars to conduct research on reducing substance abuse and HIV transmission in underserved populations at risk for traumatic stress and health disparities. She is the co-Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) – UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence. She is also Director of the Development Core for the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services (CHIPTS). She is a co-investigator for NIMH and Fogarty training grants on trauma and mental health in South Africa (Wyatt/PI) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Adolescent Trials Network (Rotheram-Borus/Swendeman/MPI). She has numerous publications and presentations in the areas of homelessness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and mental health. She has served as a standing member of NIH peer review committees, and has served as an ad hoc member of NIMH and NIDA peer review committees.

Dr. Milburn is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association (APA). She has been a member of the APA Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and chaired the APA 2009 Presidential Task Force on Psychology’s Contribution to End Homelessness. She is a member of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council. Her honors include being an inaugural member of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, the Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research, and being an honorary Professor for the Division of Psychotherapy and University of Cape Town Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health
Specializations:
Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Race, Class, Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Biobehavioral Science

Links to HPRI Research

Joy Moses

Joy Moses

Vice President of Research and Evidence
National Alliance to End Homelessness
jmoses@naeh.org
 @Joy_Moses
 www.linkedin.com/in/joymoses/ 


Joy Moses is the Vice President of Research and Evidence. For over 15 years, she has worked to reduce poverty and advance racial justice. Before joining the Alliance, she was a private consultant and analyst with the Center for American Progress. Within those roles, she managed projects and developed research reports and other forms of analysis. Joy began her career as a legal advocate, representing the interests of children and youth through her work at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Links to HPRI Research

Saba Mwine-Chang

Saba Mwine-Chang

Managing Director 
Homelessness Policy Research Institute
smwine@usc.edu


Saba Mwine (She/Her/Hers) is the managing director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI), a collaborative of over one hundred researchers, policymakers, service providers and people with lived experience that accelerate equitable and culturally informed solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County by advancing knowledge and fostering transformational partnerships between research, policy and practice. Saba has twenty years of experience spearheading housing justice work throughout the nation: measuring access to housing based on race and other protected classes and supporting equity centered collaborative initiatives in the movement to end homelessness. Saba has played numerous roles, from project designer and civil rights investigator, test coordinator to management consultant, racial equity educator and practitioner. In her tenure at the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), she worked to establish their first racial equity initiatives via fundraising, designing grant programming, developing and delivering transformative learnings, and guiding community initiatives. Saba is a classically trained actor and holds a master’s of fine arts in theatre; she is committed to the arts as a tool for healing racial trauma and shaping community spaces. In California and nationally, Saba is a prominent voice in the movement to establish racism and white supremacy culture as the most pervasive and least examined cause and perpetuator of homelessness.

As managing director of HPRI, Saba is responsible for advancing the Institute’s strategic vision to express equity in all activities and engage community with lived experience of homelessness and serves as the lead staff person for all HPRI activities, including conducting and supervising rapid response research, RFP services, and research translation. Additionally, Saba supports the implementation of HPRI’s research agenda and works in close leadership with HPRI’s Race Equity Committee and other stakeholders to establish equity frameworks for key areas of the HPRI’s work. She is also responsible for planning and producing HPRI research symposia and other events and helps conduct policy outreach at the local, state, and national levels.

Specializations:
Race Equity Training, Homelessness, Supportive Housing, Housing, Community-Based Research, Qualitative Research

Links to HPRI Research

Michael Nailat

Michael Nailat

Program Officer
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

mnailat@unitedwayla.org


Michael Nailat is a Program Officer with the Home For Good team. He is the founder and lead organizer of the Homelessness Analysis Collaborative (HAC), an alliance of researchers and analysts throughout LA County that develop tools and creative approaches to better understanding homelessness and ways to end it. He also oversees the implementation of the Standards of Excellence, community-wide performance goals and quality standards for service and housing providers. Prior to joining the team, Michael served as the Outcomes Unit Manager at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, where he oversaw grantee performance reporting, continuum-wide goal setting, and HMIS report development. He also worked for many years at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), where he developed programs around youth leadership, political engagement, information technology, and music education.

An avid patron of the creative arts, Michael is the founder of Sessions LA, an afterschool DJ and music production program for urban youth, and he also produces the popular podcast “This Filipino American Life.” He also serves as a Steering Committee member for the LA Chapter of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP-LA). In his spare time, he is a freelance grant writer, IT consultant, DJ, photographer, and community organizer. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from USC, and degrees in Social Science and Asian American Studies from UC Irvine.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Grantmaking

Derek Novacek

Derek Novacek

Research Psychologist, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA
Derek.Novacek@va.gov


Derek Novacek is a Research Psychologist at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System and an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. His research focuses on identifying sociocultural factors that influence the mental health and community integration of Veterans who have experienced homelessness. His work has been published in various academic journals including the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Psychiatry Research, Health and Social Care in the Community, and Traumatology. Dr. Novacek holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Emory University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment.

Links to HPRI Research

April Nunn

April Nunn

Policy Analyst
California Policy Lab.

amnunn@g.ucla.edu


April Nunn is a policy analyst at the California Policy Lab (CPL) where she manages the Homelessness Prevention Community Advisory Board and conducts qualitative research on mixed methods projects in the homelessness portfolio. She is particularly interested in how processes can be streamlined in order to rapidly connect people who are the most vulnerable with the resources they need. Prior to joining CPL, April worked as a Program Manager at the Downtown Women’s Center where she managed the creation of an evidence-based program to house and provide supportive services to one hundred of the most vulnerable women experiencing homelessness in the Skid Row community. She was also a Program Manager at UCLA’s Center for Community Learning where she supported UCLA students with service projects in the surrounding Los Angeles community and at a nonprofit serving transition age youth experiencing homelessness, where she provided them with interim housing and services. She has conducted evaluations of LAUSD’s lowest-performing schools’ attendance to determine interventions to improve outcomes and also taught 7th grade science in St. Louis. April holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Alisa Orduña

Alisa Orduña

Founder & Managing Principal
Florence Aliese Advancement Network 
adorduna@faan.community
  www.linkedin.com/in/alisaorduna/ 
 @a.d.orduna


Dr. Iya Alisa Osunfunke Orduña is a depth-psychologist researcher, community engagement facilitator, and writer. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Alisa served as a homelessness policy analyst, strategic advisor, and community engagement facilitator to local governments, public officials, social service nonprofits, and policy influencers. She understands firsthand how past public policies and social service systems have caused harm to multiple communities, leaving legacies of social division, hierarchies of power, segregation, and loss of autonomy. She now dedicates her service to addressing the national racial reckoning and homelessness crisis through the development of community engagement and healing processes that foster cultures of belonging.

In 2020, Dr. Alisa founded her own consulting firm, Florence Aliese Advancement Network, LLC, where she leads communities and organizations through facilitated process of remembering and rewriting stories to reconnect to who they truly are. In coming from a deeper place of authenticity and honest dialogue, Dr. Alisa believes that communities can overcome historic tensions and harm to come together to co-design programs, policies, and practices that advance towards beloved communities where all members thrive. She curates brave spaces for interpersonal dialogue, listening, and learning by incorporating community derived data, visioning, expressive arts, social dreaming techniques, nature, and storytellin.

Dr. Alisa is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (BA-English), the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (MPIA- Social and Economic Development), and Pacifica Graduate Institute (PhD and MA-Depth Psychology with a specialization in Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychology).

Links to HPRI Research

Howard Padwa

Howard Padwa

Principal Investigator
Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, UCLA 

hpadwa@mednet.ucla.edu


Howard Padwa, Ph.D. is a health services researcher and historian at UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (UCLA-ISAP). Dr. Padwa’s research focuses on mental health and substance use disorder (SUD)
services for low-income Californians, including those who experience homelessness. Currently, Dr. Padwa works as part of a team at UCLA-ISAP that provides the California Department of Health Care Services evaluation and technical assistance services related to SUD treatment system development. He is also leading several evaluations of programs that provide housing for individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders in Los Angeles, and he is Co-Investigator of a PCORI-funded study examining patient-centered outcomes in permanent supportive housing. In addition, Dr. Padwa is leading Resources to Empower Persons Experiencing homelessness in Comparative Trials (Project RESPECT), an effort to improve the patient-centeredness of research on healthcare that affects individuals experiencing homelessness.

Specializations:

Substance use disorder treatment systems, mental health treatment systems, systems transformation, patient-centered behavioral health care, integration of behavioral health with other health and social services, history of behavioral health policy and practice 

Research Strengths:

Qualitative research, implementation science 

Links to HPRI Research

Gary Painter

Gary Painter

Academic Director
Real Estate Center at the University of Cincinnati

paintegd@ucmail.uc.edu


Gary Painter is the Academic Director of the Real Estate Center at the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as a professor of real estate and the inaugural holder of the BEARE Chair in Real Estate. Additionally, Dr. Painter is part of the University of Cincinnati’s Urban Futures initiative, where he will bring social innovation approaches to identify innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions to accelerate economic growth and socio-economic mobility to create a better future for all. He also serves as the Director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. He recently published a co-authored book entitled, “Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based Payment Systems in the UK and US.” He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter is a leading figure in the field of social innovation. In addition to his recent book, he works extensively with a variety of social innovation organizations and collective impact networks to address some of the grand challenges that society faces. His current research focuses on how to activate the social innovation process. Professor Painter also has extensive expertise in housing, urban economics, and education policy, which shapes his research on how the social innovation process can identify new models of social change within these complex policy areas.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thorton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America. Read more.
Specializations:
Urban Economics, Education, Housing, Demographics, Immigrant Integration, Employment, Social Innovation

Econometrics

Links to HPRI Research

Manuel Pastor

Manuel Pastor

Director; Professor
USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity; USC Dornsife Departments of Sociology, American Studies & Ethnicity

mpastor@college.usc.edu


Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC and USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.

Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. His current research culminates in the release of his forthcoming book, State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America’s Future, in April 2018.

Pastor was the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has received fellowships from the Danforth, Guggenheim, and Kellogg foundations, and grants from the Irvine Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the W.T. Grant Foundation, The California Endowment, the California Air Resources Board, and many others. Pastor speaks frequently on issues of demographic change, economic inequality, and community empowerment and has contributed opinion pieces to such outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Huffington Post, among many others.

In January 2002, he was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership. He has previously served as a Public Member of the Strategic Growth Council in California, as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and as a member of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee for the California Air Resources Board. Pastor received the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Wally Marks Changemaker of the Yearaward for social justice research partnerships in 2012. In 2017, he received the Champion for Equity Award from the Advancement Project for his work with community-based organizations fighting for social change.

Specializations:

Environment, Race, Urban Inequity, Social Movements, Economics

ECensus Data, Large Datasets, Qualitative Researcher related to Community Organizing and Social Movements

Andy Perry

Andy Perry

Program Specialist
Analytics Center of Excellence Team
LA County CEO/CIO

APerry@ceo.lacounty.gov


Andy Perry is a member of the Analytics Center of Excellence (ACE) Team at Los Angeles County’s Office of the Chief Information Officer. Andy conducts research and evaluation projects using the OCIO’s Infohub integrated data system to gain a 360-degree view of the County’s residents and to help improve service delivery and outcomes across departments. Prior to coming to the County, Andy contributed to and ran data programs at nonprofit organizations including CSH, Enroll America, and VPIRG, as well as several successful electoral campaigns. An expert at translating back and forth between “data-speak” and “program-speak,” Andy has used data and analytics to improve program design and implementation in order to find and enroll uninsured consumers in California, guide a statewide summer door canvas to support labeling GMOs in Vermont, and better understand and meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Andy holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree from Brown University, and a preliminary teaching certificate from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Specializations:
Data integration and data policy, homelessness, anti-racist policy

Research Strengths:
Targeting, operationalizing predictive analytics, data-driven program design and management

Janey Rountree

Janey Rountree

Executive Director
California Policy Lab at UCLA

janey@cpl.ucla.edu


Janey Rountree is the founding Executive Director of the California Policy Lab at UCLA. Prior to joining CPL, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and was responsible for developing and implementing the long-term strategic plan for evidence-based public safety policy, police reform, and violence prevention in Chicago. In addition to direct oversight of the Chicago Police Department, Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management, Janey worked on policy issues that touch on violence prevention but fall outside the traditional scope of public safety, including workforce development, homelessness, education, school climate, youth employment, mentoring, and mental health. During her tenure in Chicago, Janey helped to promote evidence-based policy by working closely with researchers to evaluate publicly funded programs and to scale up the ones that were proven effective. Prior to working in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, she was the Firearms Policy Coordinator senior counsel for New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She has practiced law, taught high school, and worked in the non-profit sector. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D./LL.M from Duke Law School.

Specializations:

Public policy, Public safety, Constitutional policing, Violence prevention, Education, Emergency management, Homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Suzette Shaw

Suzette Shaw

Mental Health Peer Advocate, MHA
California Black Women’s Health Advocate
  suzetteshaw2010@yahoo.com


Suzette Shaw is the National Alliance to End Homelessness Representative for Los Angeles and the vice-chair of the Continuum of Care Board where HUD dollars come into Los Angeles. She was appointed to the LA County Racial Equity Steering Committee, post the sunset of the LA County Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness. She was a part of the body that designed the (67) recommendations that are now being used as a national model through the publication we designed of the same name. In addition, the University of Southern California (USC ) Homeless Policy Research Institute (HPRI) tapped her as their next national committee co-chair. Lastly, she is the first fourth-term United States of Women Ambassador (USOW) and was former Senator Holly J. Mitchell’s 2020 choice for “woman of the year”. This was her last year holding her state office before being elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors. And as a poetess, she uses spoken word to story tell, thus, amplifying chronic and systemic inequality while calling action for change(s) .

Links to HPRI Research

Reba A. Stevens

Reba A. Stevens

Community Leader 

reba_stevens2003@yahoo.com


Reba Stevens is an advocate and activists who experienced homelessness for 21 years in Los Angeles. She has used her experience to promote approaches that will yield the greatest impact for anyone in a housing crisis. She possesses a unique understanding of the mental health, criminal justice, and substance abuse treatment systems in Los Angeles County because of incidents she had with each one. A mental health diagnosis and health resources were the lynchpins to her successful road to recovery and journey out of homelessness. These life changing markers fuel her passion to ensure that mental health and substance abuse screenings and treatment are funded; and accessible and embedded in all facets of service delivery for people experiencing homelessness as well as those who are now housed after being homeless. Reba’s service to community includes numerous cross-departmental appointments to strategic and major bodies that drive policy and practice in homelessness, mental health, criminal justice, and substance abuse areas. She currently serves on the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health-Service Area 6 Advisory Committee, Los Angeles City & County Office of Diversion and Re-entry Prop 47 Steering Committee, Los Angeles County Steering Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Commission, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Continuum of Care Board, LGBT South Community Advisory Board, SPA 6 Homeless Coalition, USC Homelessness Policy Research Institute and USC/UCLA (PCHOOSE Study) Person-centered, Housing Options, Outcomes Services & Environment and newly appointed to the California Interagency Council on Homelessness Advisory Committee.

Her unabashed voice for equality and humility in serving people experiencing homelessness is largely documented in print and broadcast media such as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, NBC Universal, Free Your Mind Projects Radio Show, KABC-AM (AM790), Hope on The Horizon MHSOAC News Publication, Making Sense of Measure H: Dr. Mitch Katz and Reba Stevens with Pat Prescott (94.7 The Wave), Unsheltered… New Possibilities TEDx Crenshaw (Ted Talk), and Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE). Reba is a mother of 4, the fur parent of two lovely Boston Terriers Sage & Star, and a Los Angeles native.

Specializations:

Homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, criminal justice, community advocacy

Links to HPRI Research

Clifton Trotter

Clifton Trotter

Director of Equity
Los Angeles homeless Service Authority

ctrotter@lahsa.org


Clifton Trotter is the Director of Equity for the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA). As lead of LAHSA’s equity efforts, Clifton’s goal is to institute an equity framework and racial equity plan to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout LAHSA’s practices, procedures, policies, and service delivery. Prior to joining LAHSA, he was the co-lead of the Department of Health Services- Housing for Health Racial Equity Committee and Department Lead for the Workforce Development Aging & Community Services Equity Team. Additionally, he was a member of the County’s Equity Steering Committee, supporting the development of the County’s countywide Equity Summits. He was a recipient of the WDACS Employee Spotlight Award.

Before his tenure with the county, he was a program director for Peace Over Violence, where he lead their Engaging Men Program and facilitated workshops on healthy masculinity, domestic violence, and sexual assault. His experience ranges from managing homeless services for unhoused veterans at the Bell Shelter to managing over 35 high profile accounts as an Account Development Manager at Coca Cola Enterprises. This breadth of experience provides him with a rich perspective that he embodies in his work.

Clifton Trotter is a native of Los Angeles and finds the root of his passion in community uplift. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Masters of Public Administration from California State University Northridge. Clifton resides in Carson with his beautiful wife and two lovely daughters.

Brenda Wiewel

Brenda Wiewel

Resource Faculty, USC Keck School of Medicine
Consultant, Brenda Wiewel Consulting
 frankens@usc.edu
 @bwfranken  
  www.linkedin.com/brenda-wiewel-dsw 
 @bwiewel


Brenda Wiewel, DSW, LCSW, is currently engaged in multiple community projects. These include consulting with community organizations to develop new and expanded programs, teaching at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and consulting. She enjoys the opportunity to work with USC social work and public health masters students on clinical training, self care, and burnout prevention. She formed and directed the University of Southern California’s Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness from 2016-2021. There, she led efforts to design, support, and implement new student resources to reduce food and housing insecurity. She has also organized major conferences and other convenings, coordinated a range of new learning opportunities for students, and supported multiple research efforts to meet community needs. Previously, she managed and developed a range of behavioral health services and has published on the topic of traumatic stress. Ms. Wiewel received her Doctorate and Masters Degrees in Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Specializations:

Homelessness and trauma, Homelessness prevention for adult women, Campus homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Cheryl Winter

Cheryl Winter

Senior Program Manager
Corporation for Supportive Housing
  cheryl.winter@csh.org


Cheryl Winter brings to her work a deep knowledge of supportive housing and healthcare integration with significant experience in cross sector partnerships, Medicaid benefit design and implementation and provider capacity building. Cheryl’s work in California focuses on the integration of supportive housing services with healthcare systems, promoting racial equity and lived expertise in supportive housing quality improvement efforts, and Medi-Cal policy analysis and implementation. Prior to joining CSH L.A., Cheryl served as a CSH consultant for five years providing technical assistance to communities working to expand access and ensure fidelity to quality supportive housing. Her work focused on healthcare partnerships, systems analyses and innovative service funding opportunities that grow the pipeline of supportive and affordable housing projects, develop cross-system efficiencies, and enable providers to gain the tools they need to deliver quality supportive housing services. As the Associate Director of Consulting, Cheryl oversaw the CSH Quality Certification Program that evaluates and certifies high performing quality supportive housing projects across the United States. Cheryl also served as lead designer and instructor for CSH Medicaid Academies for supportive housing and homeless service providers becoming Medicaid providers. She also worked with states completing Supportive Housing Services Medicaid Crosswalks and data analyses targeting high utilizers of crisis health systems. Prior to joining CSH, Cheryl worked as the Director of Integrated Health for Pathways to Housing DC, where she managed programming that integrated supportive housing, primary care, and behavioral health services. Cheryl also served as the Director of Quality Improvement, overseeing Medicaid quality assurance, claims submissions, staff training, and quality improvement initiatives. As a Health Policy Fellow at the Missouri Foundation for Health, Cheryl focused her research on health equity and the social determinants of health. Cheryl is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and holds Master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Links to HPRI Research

Research Committee

Tatheer Adnan

Tatheer Adnan

Chief of Staff
LA County Department of Health Services

TAdnan@dhs.lacounty.gov
 www.linkedin.com/in/tatheer-adnan
@tatheerad


I have been passionate about addressing homelessness since my college years, having dedicated much of my time to advocacy and support. As a case manager and supervisor at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter throughout my undergraduate studies, I gained invaluable hands-on experience in providing aid and resources to those in need. At the same time, I had the opportunity to work with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, where I focused on research to inform policy decisions aimed at increasing service uptake, specifically MOUD and early intervention, amongst individuals experiencing homelessness.

Transitioning into a role as a data scientist after graduation, I remained dedicated to addressing homelessness, eventually joining the Los Angeles County Housing for Health as a clinical team Chief of Staff. In this role, I play a pivotal part in operationalizing and optimizing our client support programs, spanning from interim housing to permanent supportive housing.

In joining HPRI, I hope to ensure I stay up-to-date with evidence-informed policy to help inform my work and contribute to ongoing efforts to address homelessness comprehensively and effectively.

Moving forward, I am keen to tackle pressing issues in the field, particularly addressing data gaps within city and county infrastructure and ensuring that the data that is available is being used to its maximum capacity. Through my expertise in data analysis and policy research, I aim to develop innovative solutions and collaborate on targeted initiatives to provide housing stability, substance abuse and mental health support, and employment opportunities to those in need.

 

Specializations:

  • Data-Driven Policy Making and Systems Change: Advocating for the enhancement of data collection and analysis methods, including the revamp of data systems to ensure accurate, comprehensive, and actionable insights guide policy making. This includes integrating advanced technologies, promoting interoperability between data sources, and fostering a transparent data culture to inform and improve housing policy and homelessness interventions.
  • Affordable Housing and Mixed-Income Housing Development: Advocating for policies that promote the construction of affordable housing through understanding zoning laws, leveraging tax incentives, and encouraging public-private partnerships.
  • Innovative and Market-Driven Housing Solutions: Exploring innovative solutions like modular housing and micro-units to address the affordable housing shortage, making housing more accessible and sustainable.
  • Homelessness Prevention: Supporting early intervention and prevention strategies, such as rental assistance and financial support, to prevent homelessness before it occurs.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): Focusing on the PSH model to combine housing assistance with support services for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, emphasizing long-term solutions and care.
  • Intersectionality and Housing Policy: Ensuring policies consider the diverse needs of all communities, promoting equitable access to housing resources across different races, genders, and socio-economic statuses.

Research Strengths:

I have been cultivating a complementary set of quantitative and qualitative research skills. In the quantitative realm, my expertise is anchored in my proficient use of data analysis tools such as R, Python, and SAS, supported by a solid grasp of statistical and econometric methods, enabling me to conduct sophisticated regression analyses and apply a range of econometric techniques, including time-series analysis, diff-in-diff analyses, panel data analysis, and instrumental variable techniques. Additionally, my quantitative toolkit includes proficiency in machine learning algorithms for predictive modeling and complex data visualizations to convey findings effectively to non-technical stakeholders. On the qualitative front, my strengths are in conducting comprehensive focus group studies and employing both inductive and deductive thematic coding which enable me to capture and interpret the nuanced perspectives and experiences of participants, enriching the depth and breadth of my research insights.

Hugo Aguas

Hugo Aguas

Doctoral Student
Department of Sociology, University of Washington

haguas@uw.edu
 @HugoAguas3


Since 2016, I have amassed a range of on-the ground experience and worked on diverse research opportunities in the movement to end homelessness. As a graduate student at California State University- Los Angeles, I authored three pieces titled: A Demographic Study of LA County’s Homeless; The Benefits of an Intersectional Study: Employment, Governmental Assistance, and Income; and Incarceration Experience and Depression Among the Homeless in Los Angeles County: A Mediating Effect on Economic Resources and Social Support. After completing my research at Cal State LA, I transitioned to case management for The People Concern whose mission is to house people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. I can proudly say that I housed nearly 45 individuals and was a lead-houser on the E6 Generalist Team. After a year of working on the ground, I was keen to transition to a role more closely related to my field of study and became a research associate for the Nation Health Care for the Homeless Council(NHCHC).

At the NHCHC, I have grown as a researcher and an advocate on the national front. From my work, I’ve learned to tell a story of systemic failure and depravity, which has been done through the quantification of national data relating to the performance and well-being of federally qualified health centers, I created a fact sheet on COVID-19 in collaboration with HRSA; facilitated an array of technical assistance trainings relating to race, diabetes, obesity, housing scarcity, etc.; and have presented findings to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In addition to my technical work, I have spoken with Alaska Public Radio(a subsidiary of NPR) on the possible development of temporary housing for the homeless in Anchorage. I am proud to be a fierce advocate on the ground and from a research perspective.

In addition to my research experience, in July of 2020, I worked for The Center of Blessed Sacrament in the Westlake/MacArthur Park area, where I took on the role as a service coordinator and, ultimately, a program manager. In this role, I was responsible for ensuring that everyone received equitable housing services at a federally funded Project Roomkey site by following up on one’s health care, housing status, and service continuation despite the surging COVID-19 pandemic. After the project, I worked as a weekend service coordinator at the Downtown Women’s Center until the end of the project in December of 2021.

After my time at the National Health Care for the Homeless and Downtown Women’s Center, I worked as a Risk Mitigation Program Manager for the Department of Health Services, where I was tasked to support interim housing sites in Los Angeles using a data-driven racial equity framework against COVID-19 and influenza until July 2022. Hugo is currently at the University of Washington as a Ph.D. Student at the Department of Sociology working on demography and Latino home

Specializations:

Mental health, Housing Instability, COVID-19 in Homeless Health Care, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Housing and Health Care, Social Stratification, Quantitative Research 

Research Strengths:

Quantitative Research Methods, Data Visualization, Baron and Kenny Methodology, Compiling and Utilizing Large Disaggregated Data Sets 

Kristin Aldana-Taday

Kristin Aldana-Taday

Program Officer, Homelessness
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation


Kristin Aldana-Taday coordinates grantmaking activities for the Program Department of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Aldana-Taday monitors current grants and supports the development, review, and presentation of grant proposals, with a focus on the Foundation’s Homelessness initiative, for consideration by the Foundation board of directors. Prior to joining the Hilton Foundation, Aldana-Taday worked for the Liberty Hill Foundation, where she directed donor services with a focus on donor engagement activities and donor advised funds. Aldana-Taday also previously worked for Pacoima Beautiful, an environmental justice organization in Los Angeles. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and urban studies from the University of California, San Diego.

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro

Professor and Chair of Gender Studies
University of Southern California

ahancock@usc.edu


Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro is Professor and Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and a globally recognized scholar of intersectionality theory, the world’s leading analytical framework for analyzing and resolving inequality. She has written numerous articles and three books on the intersections of categories of difference like race, gender, class, sexuality and citizenship and their impact on policy: the award-winning The Politics of Disgust and the Public Identity of the “Welfare Queen,” (2004), Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics (2011) and Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (2016). The applied forms of her research focus on diverse donors in philanthropy, partnerships between funders and nonprofits for social change, and cross-sector training of leaders to implement intersectionality.

In 1993, under the mentorship of NBA Hall of Famer Tom “Satch” Sanders, Hancock Alfaro conducted the original survey research and designed the business model for the Women’s National Basketball Association. The only women’s professional basketball league to succeed in the United States, the WNBA began its 21st season in May 2017. Her recent collaborative work includes service on the Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation and work with both Hispanas Organized for Political Empowerment (HOPE) and the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI). She sits on four boards: the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), Community Partners, LAAWPPI, and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Political Empowerment (SCOPE-LA).

Her current work includes new research projects on asylum requests for survivors of domestic violence, empirical applications of intersectionality, and the free speech-hate speech debate.

Specializations:

American Politics, Political Theory, Public Policy, Race/Ethnic Politics, Gender Politics, Intersectionality

Links to HPRI Research

Lourdes Johanna Avelar Portillo

Lourdes Johanna Avelar Portillo

Doctoral Candidate
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences
 avelarpo@usc.edu


Lourdes Johanna Avelar Portillo is a third-year PhD candidate in the Population, Health, and Place program at USC and a Teaching Assistant at the Spatial Sciences Institute. Johanna’s research uses mixed methods to examine the consequences of water insecurity in the lives and health outcomes of people experiencing homelessness. She believes that the provisioning of basic human services such as drinking water, restrooms, showers, and laundry services can serve as immediate interventions to better address homelessness and reduce the risk of infectious diseases, which are reported to have been on the rise in recent years. Johanna’s current work focuses on the community of Skid Row in Los Angeles which examines the inequities in access and provisioning of basic water services based on race, gender, and age. Her research interests include the effects of water insecurity on people experiencing homelessness, particularly disparities in access among vulnerable groups (including women, racial minorities, and undocumented immigrants), and identifying sustainable solutions to better serve the population. Johanna currently volunteers with the Los Angeles Central Providers Collaborative to conduct an audit report on basic services lacking in the community of Skid Row. Prior to joining USC, Johanna’s work focused in water insecurity in Latin America, particularly in rural communities of EL Salvador. Johanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA and a master’s degree in Geography from Cal State Long Beach.
Specializations:
Homelessness, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) Services Delivery, Health and Racial Equity

Qualitative and Quantitative Mixed Methods Research, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Spatial Statistics

Amanda Aykanian

Amanda Aykanian

Assistant Professor
University at Buffalo School of Social Work


aykanian@buffalo.edu


Amanda Aykanian, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo. Prior to this appointment, she was an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. Before beginning an academic career, she worked
for 13+ years in program evaluation—partnering with nonprofit and local government agencies to conduct process and outcome evaluations. Most of that work was focused on evaluating housing first, supportive housing, homelessness outreach and case management, and homelessness prevention programs in MA and NY.

Dr. Aykanian’s research focuses on homeless services and homeless service systems, including program and policy implementation, service access, and workforce issues. Most recently, she is the PI for the National Homeless Services Workforce Study, which aims to better understand the characteristics, needs, and experiences of those working in the U.S. homeless services sector. She is also interested in homelessness continuums of care (CoCs) and the implementation of
federal guidance, such as coordinated entry, and has partnered with multiple CoCs to work on strategic planning and continuous quality improvement efforts.
Dr. Aykanian has also served in multiple leadership and service positions. She is currently the national co-lead for the Grand Challenge to End Homelessness, which is part of a large movement within the social work profession to address society’s largest social concerns. She is also a member of the research advisory board for the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Previously, she was the research and project lead for the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services.

Specializations:

Homeless services, Continuums of care, Workforce issues, Program and policy implementation

Research Strengths:

Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed methods, Program evaluation

Links to HPRI Research

Samantha Batko

Samantha Batko

Principal Research Associate
Urban Institute
Batko@urban.org
 @thesamanthab


Samantha Batko is a principal research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where her research focuses on homelessness, housing instability, housing assistance, and supportive services. She has expertise in several US Department of Housing and Urban Development homelessness programs, including homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing. She is currently the principle investigator of an evaluation of Tipping Point Community’s Chronic Homelessness Initiative in San Francisco, the Los Angeles County

Unaccompanied Women Experiencing Homelessness Needs Assessment, and the US Department Housing and Urban Development’s Pay for Success permanent supportive housing demonstration evaluation, and development of the Emergency Rental Assistance Priority Index and targeting tool. Past projects have included evaluation of the US Department of Labor’s Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program evaluation and an evaluation of New Jersey’s Keeping Families Together program. She currently a member of the California Interagency Council on Homelessness Advisory Committee and the National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council. Before joining Urban, Batko spent 12 years at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, where she developed expertise in homelessness and housing policy, research, and technical assistance.

Links to HPRI Research

Meredith Berkson

Meredith Berkson

Director of Policy and Systems
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)

mberkson@lahsa.org


Meredith Berkson is the Director of Policy and Systems at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.  Meredith started her work in homeless services over a decade ago as an intern case manager at Glide Foundation’s Drop-In Center in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, while completing her BA in Sociology at UC Berkeley.  After moving back to Los Angeles, she worked at The People Concern’s Access Center in Santa Monica, and helped the agency pilot and implement Coordinated Entry(CES). She then moved to PATH, first as their Director of Coordinated Entry and then as Regional Director of South County Programs. At PATH she oversaw the SPA 7 CES and the immense growth of the South County Department and service portfolio, including prevention, problem solving, outreach, rapid rehousing, and permanent supportive housing programs. Before joining LAHSA, she consulted with the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, providing her direct service lens to their policy work. Meredith is passionate about changing policies and systems to better address the needs of people on the brink of, and experiencing homelessness.

Gary Blasi

Gary Blasi

Professor of Law Emeritus
UCLA School of Law

blasi@law.ucla.edu


Gary Blasi is Professor of Law Emeritus at the UCLA School of Law. For the eight years prior his appointment to the UCLA faculty in 1991, he directed for eight years the Homelessness Litigation Project at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, working closely with both local and national experts in the field. In addition to his legal and research work related to homelessness, especially in Los Angeles, Blasi has for nearly 40 years held leadership positions in nonprofit organizations addressing homelessness and extreme poverty, including terms as President of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness. He was a founding board member
of both Comic Relief and of Vets Advocacy, Inc. He currently serves as a board officer of the nonprofits Housing Works and Pathways Housing First Institute (of which he is a founding board member, with Sam Tsemberis and Ben Henwood) and a member of the board of Economic Roundtable.

Blasi’s research has focused primarily both on the causes of homelessness and how those causes are understood by researchers, policymakers, and the public, with particular focus on the role of race in such attributions. His work draws on social psychology, especially attribution theory and implicit bias and related theories (e.g., system justification).ii Much of his work examines the public policy, advocacy, and legal system engagement with homelessness.

Blasi has also conducted extensive research regarding homelessness in Los Angeles. In 2007, with scholars at USC and other institutions, Blasi co-authored a report for the Inter-University Consortium Against Homelessness, Ending Homelessness in Los Angeles, which provided support for a policy brief entitled A Reality-Based Approach to Ending Homelessness
in Los Angeles.

In 2006 and 2007, he conducted an extensive empirical evaluation of the
effects on the unhoused of the “Safer Cities Initiative” initiated in 2006 in Skid Row, Policing Our Way Out of Homelessness?: The First Year of the Safer Cities Initiative on Skid Row, as well as the impact of that effort on crime in Skid Row. Professor Blasi took emeritus status in 2012 but continues to conduct research and maintain an active pro bono legal practice, working with community groups and in collaboration with the leading public interest and pro bono law firms in California. In 2013, he received the Loren
Miller Legal Services Award from the State Bar of California, given to one lawyer in California each year for his or her work in extending legal services to the poor. He was named a California Lawyer of the Year in 2015 in for his work on behalf of indigent welfare recipients and a California Lawyer of the Year in 2016 for his work on behalf of homeless military veterans.

Specializations:

a) Intersection of both criminal and civil law and policy with evidence-based research regarding unhoused people, how they come to be unhoused (including, e.g. through eviction) and how they experience homelessness and interventions intended to help them; (b) evaluation of effective interventions to prevent, reduce, ameliorate, or end homelessness; (c) organization and operation of those government, nonprofit, and research entities that potentially contribute to effective interventions; (c) how the public, media, and policy-makers process and contribute to contested understandings of homelessness and the potential responses to it, including the role academic or empirical research plays in that process; (d) the role of race and racism, particularly regarding Black people, in all the foregoing, and the potential effectiveness of anti-racist interventions.

Research Strengths:

I am familiar with basic quantitative methods and tools, from odds ratios and simple descriptive statistics to stepwise logistic regression, but am no longer current in STATA or SAS. I have developed and supervised field surveys and focus groups, and conducted, supervised and/or analyzed hundreds of interviews of people from agency heads to chronically homeless individuals with significant impairments.  I have worked with and supervised the analysis of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and the contents of administrative databases from very basic spreadsheets to enormous government databases.   For 15 years I taught future lawyers (and some other researchers) how to identify, obtain and utilize documents and data obtainable through either the public records laws or discovery in litigation

Links to HPRI Research

Ricky Bluthenthal

Ricky Bluthenthal

Professor of Preventative Medicine; Associate Dean for Social Justice
Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
rbluthen@usc.edu


Ricky N. Bluthenthal is the Associate Dean for Social Justice and a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Institute for Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He received a BA in History and Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz and a PhD in sociology from the University of California Berkeley. His research has established the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs, tested novel interventions and strategies to reduce HIV risk and improve HIV testing among injection drug users and men who have sex with men, documented how community conditions contribute to health disparities, and examined health policy implementation. His current studies include a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a single session intervention to reduce injection initiation risk behaviors among established people who inject drugs and an observational epidemiological study to examine if increased cannabis availability results to decreased opioid use among people who inject drugs. Dr. Bluthenthal has authored or co-authored over 130 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, The Lancet, Addiction, and Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research among others.

Links to HPRI Research

Lynden Bond

Lynden Bond

Research Associate
Urban Institute, Metropolitan and Communities Policy Center
lbond@urban.org


Lynden Bond, LMSW, is a researcher and advocate whose work aims to reduce barriers for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in accessing housing and health and behavioral health services. Lynden’s research interests include social determinants of health, housing insecurity, homelessness, and behavioral health. Recent projects have explored service user perspectives on homeless outreach, and examining the experiences of formerly homeless adults living in hotels during COVID-19. Her current research focuses on how housing insecurity and homelessness impact access to mental health and substance use treatment services among emergency department patients. Lynden’s direct-practice experiences include being a clinical supervisor in a homeless outreach program and in a permanent supportive housing program for individuals with histories of homelessness and behavioral health needs. She is passionate about and committed to using community-empowered methods and partnering with people with lived expertise in her research and advocacy. Lynden holds a PhD in Social Work from New York University.

Specializations:

Homelessness and housing, behavioral health, mental health and substance use services, homeless services research, policy

Research Strengths:

Mixed methods research, qualitative research, community-engaged methods

Links to HPRI Research

Gretchen Brickson

Gretchen Brickson

Associate Director, Los Angeles Program
Corporation for Supportive Housing

gretchen.brickson@csh.org


Gretchen Brickson is Associate Director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s (CSH) Los Angeles Program where she leads capacity-building and housing-healthcare system integration efforts to better serve persons experiencing homelessness. Formerly, she led L.A. Care’s Health Homes Program development, a model designed to integrate physical, psycho-social and behavioral health support for members with chronic conditions, severe mental illness and high acuity (including homelessness). She also served as Senior Director of Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) at L.A. Care Health Plan. A program of California’s Coordinated Care Initiative, MLTSS provides services that help individuals remain living independently in the community. MLTSS also oversees extended long-term care provided in a nursing facility. Previously Ms. Brickson was Executive Director of the Los Angeles Jewish Home’s Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC) Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) during its three-year start-up and development period. She also directed Huntington Hospital’s community-focused Senior Care Network and the San Francisco Adult Day Health Network.

Ms. Brickson holds Master’s Degrees in Social Welfare, Business Administration and Public Health from UC-Berkeley and is licensed as a clinical social worker in California. She has extensive experience with PACE and managed care, including nine years at On Lok, the prototype for the PACE model, more than five years with Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern and Southern California, and three years at L.A. Care Health Plan.

Specializations:

Older adults, healthcare

Jakob Brounstein

Jakob Brounstein

PHD Candidate
UC Berkeley

jakob.brounstein@berkeley.edu


Jakob Brounstein is PhD Candidate in economics at UC Berkeley studying public and labor economics. He specializes in issues related to fiscality, tax avoidance/evasion, and inequality. His current work focuses on the tax externalities of homelessness policy and comprehensively estimating the changes in benefits absorbed and taxes collected in response to changes in individuals’ homelessness status. Jakob holds a BA from Sciences Po and a BA from Columbia University. His overall research agenda strives to inform the discussion on how to most effectively design a public policy environment that promote the equity and empowerment of disenfranchised groups.

Specializations:

tax policy, tax avoidance and evasion, fiscal impacts of public policy, upper- and lower tail economic inequality

Research Strengths:

applied microeconomic and econometric methods

Moshe Buchinsky

Moshe Buchinsky

Professor
UCLA Department of Economics

buchinsky@econ.ucla.edu


Moshe Buchinsky is a Professor of Economics at UCLA. His research develops econometric tools and applies them to labor economics and public finance. Professor Buchinsky wrote seminal papers on quantile regression, using it to analyze changes in the distribution of wages. His other work studies returns to seniority and experience, and the degree of wage mobility. His work has been published in Econometrica, and the Review of Economic Studies among others.

Specializations:

Economics, Public Finance, Wages

Econometrics, Quantile regression

Maya Buenaventura

Maya Buenaventura

Research Manager
California Policy Lab
mayabuena@g.ucla.edu


Maya Buenaventura is a Research Manager with the California Policy Lab. Prior to joining CPL, she was a Los Angeles County Management Fellow with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. In that role, she designed and implemented programs to address complex public policy matters such as decriminalization of street vending and developing alternatives to payday, auto title, and other high-cost loans.

Prior to working for Los Angeles County, Maya was a PhD candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. Maya’s work at RAND consisted primarily of evaluations of interventions targeting individuals in the criminal-justice system, individuals experiencing homelessness, low-income families, and other vulnerable populations. Before her time at RAND, Maya worked as a commercial litigator at a large international law firm and volunteered as a pro bono attorney for numerous organizations, representing immigrants, victims of trafficking, and victims of domestic abuse.

Maya holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law, and a B.A. in economics from Oglethorpe University.

Patrick Burns

Patrick Burns

Senior Researcher
Economic Roundtable

patrickburns@economicrt.org


Patrick joined the Economic Roundtable in 2002, following training in Economic Geography at Clark University, Kent State University and UCLA. He is a public policy researcher specializing in labor market dynamics, poverty, public assistance, housing, displacement, industry change and urban geography, with experience analyzing outcomes for detailed neighborhoods and groups of workers.

Specializations:

Employment, Wages, Housing, Displacement, Public Assistance, Urban Geography, Labor Market Dynamics, Industry Change

Research Strengths:

Compiling, merging and analyzing large public and confidential data sets; GIS-based spatial analysis

Links to HPRI Research

Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Princeton University: Center for Health and Wellbeing

miketcassidy@princeton.edu


Mike Cassidy is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University. He is an applied microeconomist whose research spans labor, public, and urban economics, with particular emphases on welfare, education, and health. His current work focuses on homeless families, while his overall research agenda endeavors to understand how people make decisions and how social policy, broadly construed, can help them make better ones. Mike holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.P.A. from Princeton University, and completed his Ph.D. in Economics at Rutgers University.
Specializations:
Homelessness, Housing, Poverty, Health, Education, Welfare, Public Policy
Skills:
Applied microeconomics methods

Katherine Chen

Katherine Chen

Postdoctoral Fellow
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

KLChen@mednet.ucla.edu
 @KatChenMD


Katherine L. Chen, MD, PhD, is an internal medicine physician and population health researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research explores the intersection between housing justice and health equity. Recent projects have examined health outcomes among people displaced in California’s affordable housing crisis, the impact of neighborhood change and residential displacement on cardiometabolic disease control, and nonprofit hospitals’ engagement with local housing needs. Dr. Chen completed her MD and internal medicine residency training at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, followed by her PhD in Health Policy and Management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She practices primary care and supervises resident physicians at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Los Angeles.

Specializations:

Housing and health, residential mobility and displacement, interface between health systems and the social determinants of health, population health 

Research Strengths:

Quantitative methods, clinical outcomes and health services research, electronic health record analysis, spatial analysis

Chris Chenet

Chris Chenet

Senior Technical Advisor
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 

cchenet@lahsa.org


Chris Chenet is the Senior Technical Advisor with the Housing Central Command at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). He specializes in data analytics, quality assurance, program development, and has 7 years of experience specializing in homelessness. Chris’ tenure and successes have included large scale agency-adopted projects, such as Active Contract Management, dashboard development for contract management, SQL automation, and multivariate system models and gaps analyses. Chris leads projects that have resulted in web application development for the Continuum, for instance, he led the development of the Interim Housing Extension Request Application, the Income Calculator Application, and the Interim Housing Quality Assurance Application. The latter is used by LAHSA, DMH, and DHS. Chris also managed a team of analysts that engaged providers on a high-frequency basis for contract, performance, and budgetary topics, in which they provide both coaching and technical assistance. Before joining the Housing Central Command, Chris served as the Manager or Performance Management and as a Homeless Systems Analyst at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from CSUF and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from APU.

Specializations:

Family Homelessness and Poverty, Performance Management, Grant Management, Performance Analysis

Quantitative methods, Program Evaluation, Performance management and Statistical Analysis of Program Effectiveness

Melissa Chinchilla

Melissa Chinchilla

Research Scientist
AltaMed

mechinchilla@altamed.org


Before joining AltaMed as a Research Scientist, Melissa Chinchilla was a Post Doctoral Fellow in Health Services Research and Development at the Veteran Administration of Greater Los Angeles and a Master of Science candidate in Health Policy Management at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.

Dr. Chinchilla’s research rests at the intersection of housing, health, and community development. Her dissertation examined the community integration outcomes of formerly homeless individuals assisted through the VA’s largest homeless program, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (VASH). Dr. Chinchilla’s research on HUD-VASH points to the importance of voucher type and neighborhood factors in assuring that formerly homeless individuals in supportive housing are able to achieve housing stability and improvements in quality of life. Dr. Chinchilla’s current research examines Latino homelessness in Los Angeles County, including what is driving the increase in Latino homelessness, gaps in housing and service provision, and best practices for serving this population. Dr. Chinchilla has also published on the use of Health Impact Assessment as an interdisciplinary teaching tool, and continues to examine ways to bridge the divide between public health and urban planning disciplines.

Dr. Chinchilla’s work has been published by MIT Press and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. She has received research funding from the Pricilla King Gray Public Service Center, Sagalyn and Hack Dissertation Grant, and the Veteran Administration Research Enhancement Award Program.

Dr. Chinchilla earned her doctorate in Urban Studies and Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds a master in City and Regional Planning and bachelor degrees in Social Welfare and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Affordable Housing, Social Determinants of Health

Links to HPRI Research

Michael Cousineau

Michael Cousineau

Professor of Clinical Medicine
USC Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine

cousinea@med.usc.edu


Michael R. Cousineau is currently Clinical Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine at USC. He has a joint appointment in the Sol Price School of Public Policy. He teaches in both the Masters in Public Health program and in the Professionalism and the Practice of Medicine. He attended U.C. Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in genetics and has a masters and a doctorate from the UCLA School of Public Health. His work focuses on health policy and health services and evaluation research, access to care for the low income uninsured, governance and operation of safety-net providers including public hospitals, community-based clinics and health centers; and health needs of vulnerable populations including homeless people.

His work includes studying the impact of initiatives designed to expand health insurance to adults and children, the dynamics of insurance coverage decisions by small businesses, alternative governance of safety net hospitals, and the health and mental health needs of the homeless. He is an expert on the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, having given over 30 talks on the new law to community and professional groups. He has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the U.S. Health Services and Services Administration, The California Endowment, the Office of Minority Health, Blue Shield Foundation, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has published in Health Affairs, Medical Care, Public Health Reports, the American Journal of Public Health, Academic Medicine, and Health Services Research.

Specializations:

Health Policy, Healthcare for vulnerable populations, Community-based healthcare, Homelessness, Mental health

Program evaluation

Links to HPRI Research

Robynn Cox

Robynn Cox

Assistant Professor, Ph.D
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

robynnco@usc.edu


Robynn Cox is an assistant professor and a member of the faculty at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Her research interests include the fields of crime, health, labor, and social and racial inequality. She has primarily focused on understanding the social and economic consequences of mass incarceration. Cox was a 2014-15 Resource Center for Minority Aging Research Scholar at the USC Schaeffer Center, where her research explored the impact of incarceration on health outcomes over the lifespan. Most recently, she received a Russell Sage Foundation Presidential Authority Award to investigate the relationship between perceptions of criminality, race, trust and employment outcomes (with Jennifer Doleac, Benjamin Hansen and Sarah Jacobson). Cox’s research has also been funded by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research through the Research Program on Childhood Hunger and the Young Investigator Development Grant.

Her work has been published in various academic and policy outlets such as the Southern Economic Journal and the Economic Policy Institute. In addition, she has presented her research at numerous professional conferences and has been featured on both locally and nationally syndicated radio programs such as NPR. In 2011, she was invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to take part in a roundtable conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien on workforce development and employment strategies of the formerly incarcerated.

Prior to her appointment at USC, Cox served as an assistant professor at Spelman College and a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Economics at Duke University. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in economics from Georgia State University, where she was awarded the Andrew Young Fellowship. Cox completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University, where she obtained a dual bachelor’s in economics and Spanish and Latin American studies.

Specializations:

Economics, Social and Racial Inequity, Social Work, Education, Mass Incarceration, Health, Wellness, Labor

Links to HPRI Research

Rashida Crutchfield

Rashida Crutchfield

Assistant Professor EdD, MSW
Cal State Long Beach School of Social Work

rashida.crutchfield@csulb.edu


Dr. Rashida Crutchfield is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach. She earned a Master of Social Work at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from CSULB. She worked for the National Conference for Community and Justice in Long Beach and the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri before serving on the Covenant House California staff. Experience at this Los Angeles shelter for 18-to-24-year-olds experiencing homelessness gave her insight into practice, building rapport and intervention with this population’s strengths, needs and perspectives.

Dr. Crutchfield has been a faculty member in the CSULB School of Social Work since 2007 as field faculty and lecturer. She began as an assistant professor in 2014 with a focus on practice and research in youth homelessness, access to higher education, social and economic development, and social work community practice. She was the Principal Investigator for Phase I of the CSU Office of the Chancellor’s Study on Basic Needs, and Co-Principal Investigator for phases II and III. These studies are the largest of their kind.

Specializations:

Macro Social Work Practitioner, Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Food Security, Higher Education Access, Race

Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis with an emphasis on recruiting and engaging people who have experienced trauma

Links to HPRI Research

Dennis Culhane

Dennis Culhane

Professor; Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy; Co-Principal Investigator, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy
University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice

culhane@upenn.edu


Dr. Culhane’s primary area of research is homelessness and assisted housing policy. His research has contributed to efforts to address the housing and support needs of people experiencing housing emergencies and long-term homelessness.

Dr. Culhane’s recent research includes studies of vulnerable youth and young adults, including those transitioning from foster care, juvenile justice, and residential treatment services.

Dr. Culhane’s most recent research has focused on homelessness among veterans. From July 2009 – June 2018 he served as Research Director of the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Culhane co-directs the Intelligence for Social Policy initiative (ISP), a MacArthur-funded project to promote the development of integrated database systems by states and localities for policy analysis and systems reform.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Youth Homelessness, Housing

Linkage and analysis of administrative data to understand the prevalence and dynamics of homelessness and patterns of multisystem services use

Links to HPRI Research

Soledad De Gregorio

Soledad De Gregorio

Postdoctoral Scholar
USC Price Center for Social Innovation

mdegrego@usc.edu


Soledad De Gregorio is a postdoctoral scholar at the Price Center for Social Innovation. Her research uses quantitative methods to examine social policy, particularly homelessness, housing, and education, and how they impact families and children. Prior to coming to USC, she worked as a consultant for the World Bank and in the nonprofit sector developing programs with disadvantaged communities in Latin America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a master’s degree in Public Policy from UCLA, and received her PhD in Public Policy and Management from USC.

Specializations:

Social policy, homelessness, neighborhoods, women and children, families, K-12 education, schools, teachers

Quantitative methods, econometric techniques, statistical modeling and inference, program evaluation

Links to HPRI Research

Adrienne Dellinger

Adrienne Dellinger

Senior Researcher
Vital Research

ADellinger@vitalresearch.com


Adrienne Dellinger is a Senior Researcher at Vital Research, a research and evaluation consulting firm in Los Angeles. In this role, Adrienne is focused on developing partnerships with organizations, designing and implementing evaluations, and using data visualization to provide real-time, actionable results for projects across community services and education. Adrienne is trained in social research methods with specific expertise in evaluation including design, logic models, instrument design, data collection, and results dissemination. Before joining the Vital Research team in 2012, Adrienne worked in different research and evaluation capacities for over 12 years in universities and the private sector, including the Center for Community College Student Engagement at University of Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, the National Opinion Research Center, and the University of Chicago.

Adrienne has her Ph.D. in Social Research Methodology with a focus in program evaluation at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently finishing her dissertation focused on sensemaking around data in a community of practice in higher education. She holds a Master of Public Health Degree in Community Health Sciences with a concentration in Women’s Health from the University of Illinois, Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University.

Specializations:

Evaluation, Qualitative and Quantitative Mixed Methods Research, Education, Restorative Justice, Homelessness, Youth Workforce Development, Reentry Populations

Tasmin Dhaliwal

Tasmin Dhaliwal

Doctoral Candidate
University of Southern California

tdhaliwa@usc.edu


Tasmin is a PhD candidate in Urban Education Policy at the University of Southern California. She is advised by Katharine Strunk (Michigan State University) and Morgan Polikoff (University of Southern California). Her research includes projects that look within and beyond the school building walls to better understand the mechanisms that drive unequal educational outcomes for marginalized students. Her interests include how factors such as housing instability and homelessness influence student outcomes along with interests related to teacher labor markets, school discipline, and school choice. Tasmin’s research is informed by her time as first and second grade teacher in Houston. Prior to joining the Urban Education Policy Ph.D. program, Tasmin received a master’s degree in Education Policy & Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Specializations:

K-12 education policy, K-12 education, schools & teachers, social policy, homelessness, neighborhoods

Quantitative methods, econometric techniques, statistical modeling and inference, program evaluation

Links to HPRI Research

Julianna Diggs

Julianna Diggs

Peer Navigator
Healthcare in Action

jdiggs@healthcareinaction.org, Juliannadiggs@gmail.com
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/julianna-diggs-83472a260/
 Juliana Digz
 Juliana_Digz


With over 6 years of professional experience in mental health, I’ve served as a Certified Peer Support Specialist and held a role at the LA County Department of Mental Health. Currently, I work as a Peer Navigator with Healthcare in Action, a street medicine team. My responsibilities extend to a crisis response team within the organization. My expertise is in trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, and care coordination. I also hold certifications in Wellness Recovery Action Planning and motivational interviewing. My lived experience further fuels my commitment to my passion in mental health. I’m actively continuing my education and aim to become a social worker.

Specializations:

Healthcare equity, Mental health advocacy, Social justice, Initiatives that address systemic barriers to accessing quality healthcare for marginalized communities.

Research Strengths:

Conducting in-depth interviews, Analyzing social and behavioral patterns, Data collection, Basic statistical analysis

Earl Edwards

Earl Edwards

Doctoral Candidate
UCLA Graduate School of Education and Informational Studies

eedwards02@ucla.edu

Earl Edwards is a Ph.D. student at the University of California Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He completed his Master’s Degree in Public School Leadership from Columbia University and received his B.A. in Sociology from Boston College. His current research interests focus on how American public schools can better support youth experiencing homelessness.

Earl has over ten years of professional experience in youth development and curriculum design. As a school administrator and classroom teacher, Earl has designed and facilitated district-wide professional development modules covering data analysis, formative assessments, and effective teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities. Earl also co-authored graduate course curriculums focusing on educational leadership development in urban public schools for Columbia University Teachers College principal certification program. In addition to his expertise in curriculum development, Earl has founded and contributed to several youth development programs that support Black and Latino males across the country.

Specializations:

Student Homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Ryan Finnigan

Ryan Finnigan

Associate Research Director
Terner Center for Housing Innovation
University of California, Berkeley
rfinnigan@berkeley.edu
@ryanmfinnigan


Ryan Finnigan, PhD, is an Associate Research Director at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. He leads the Terner Center’s research on homelessness, which focuses on how we can best integrate housing and homelessness service systems to prevent and end homelessness. Prior to joining the Terner Center, Ryan was an associate professor in the UC Davis sociology department.

Specializations:

Homelessness service delivery, Unsheltered homelessness, Affordable and subsidized housing

Research strengths:

Quantitative: Analysis of Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data, Point-in-Time Counts of Homelessness, and Housing Inventory Count data; original survey research on the needs and experiences of people currently experiencing homelessness; spatial analysis of encampment locations, stability, and displacements

Qualitative: interviews with people with lived experience of homelessness; interviews with direct service providers, local government administrators, public housing agency staff, and affordable housing developers and operators

Links to HPRI Research

Daniel Flaming

Daniel Flaming

President
Economic Roundtable

danflaming@economicrt.org


Daniel is president of the Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit urban research group that identifies actionable solutions that contribute to the sustainability of individuals and communities. He has a Ph.D. in urban studies. The Roundtable’s work includes descriptive analysis of homeless populations and developing predictive analytic models for matching interventions with individual needs. Dan has been with the Roundtable since 1991. Before that he worked for Los Angeles County, managing delinquency prevention, affordable housing, job training, and research programs.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Wage sustainability, Affordable housing

Demographic, economic and property development datasets; Confidential administrative records; Practical application analyses

Links to HPRI Research

Andrea Garcia

Andrea Garcia

Physician 
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

acgarcia@dmh.lacounty.gov


Dr. Andrea Garcia is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, and she is Mexican. Dr. Garcia is a physician at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health where her clinical work is at the directly operated American Indian Counseling Center. Her other time is spent on community-centered initiatives and research that addresses the social and structural determinants of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) health.

Through her appointments as a Commissioner with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, and her affiliation with the Center for Health Services and Society in the Department of Psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Garcia has been able to employ community partnered participatory research methods to better understand homelessness among AIAN in Los Angeles County. Though her strengths are in quantitative methodologies she has come to fully appreciate the value of mixed methods, particularly when engaging with communities who are undercounted or misclassified in quantitative data. Dr. Garcia also has interests in AIAN health equity, workforce diversity in the health professions, and is serving as Guest Assistant Editor for the MedEdPORTAL Call for Submissions: American Indian, Alaska Native and Indigenous Perspectives.

Dr. Garcia is a proud graduate of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program where she obtained her master’s degree in health and medical sciences from UC Berkeley and her medical degree from UCSF. She trained in General and Preventive Medicine and completed a fellowship with the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA in research and policy.

Caitlyn Grabill

Caitlyn Grabill

Intensive Case Manager
Consumers Self Help Center

cgrabill@consumersselfhelp.org
  www.linkedin.com/in/melissaanneking/


Caitlyn Grabill is an integral part of the Flexible Supportive Rehousing Team at Consumers Self Help Center in Sacramento County, dedicated to facilitating permanent housing solutions while emphasizing self-sufficiency. With five years of diverse experience in roles centered around permanent housing, Caitlyn’s current focus includes data analysis, ensuring contractual compliance, and fostering staff development. Committed to furthering her expertise, Caitlyn is concurrently pursuing a master’s in public health at Capella University.

Specializations:

Permanent Housing

Joelle Greene

Joelle Greene

Director
Harder + Company

jgreene@harderco.com


Joelle is a highly skilled researcher and evaluator with more than 20 years of experience in the academic and nonprofit sectors. Joelle has expertise in mixed-methods approaches to evaluation and is adept in advanced statistical approaches to data modeling. This includes logistical regression, multivariate analysis, scaling and data reduction techniques. She is also an adept facilitator, and is skilled at guiding diverse groups through a process of learning and planning. Joelle blends these skills with deep knowledge of wide range of issues such as early childhood, housing, mental health services, violence prevention, at-risk youth, and elder services.

Before joining Harder+Company in 2011, Joelle was director of research and evaluation for National Community Renaissance (CORE) and previously served as executive director of evaluation, research and planning for the Urban Education Partnership. Joelle has served as a technical advisory board member of First 5 San Bernardino, and is a former advisory board member and evaluation task force chair for LIFT for Teens. She was also the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA. She is an active member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA); she has served as Program Co-Chair of the AEA Business, Leadership and Performance topical interest group, and also presented webinars as part of its professional development series. Joelle can be found most weekends cheering on her daughter from the sidelines of a soccer pitch somewhere in Southern California.

Specializations:

Housing, Employment, Workforce Development, Community Development, Mental Health, Violence Prevention, Youth

Data Modeling, Logistical Regression, Multivariate Analysis, Scaling, Data Reduction

Links to HPRI Research

Taylor Harris

Taylor Harris

Core Investigator

Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP)

Taylor.Harris2@va.gov


Taylor Harris, PhD, MA, is a core investigator for the Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP) at the VA Greater Los Angeles. Guided by her professional training in the fields of clinical psychology and social work, Dr. Harris’ research agenda focuses on mental health and behavioral health of persons with experiences of homelessness and enhancing housing and services to improve their health outcomes. During her doctoral training at the University of Southern California, she received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for her dissertation which examined multi-level socioecological factors that affect smoking behavior trajectories from homelessness to housing. At the VA, Dr. Harris served as a post-doctoral fellow through the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans. As a CSHIIP investigator, she serves as the PI for two projects that aim to improve smoking cessation services for homeless-experienced Veterans, and another project examining workforce wellbeing among community-based homeless service providers implementing an evidence-based case management practice.

 

Topical Interests/Experience related to homelessness:

  • Evidence-based practices within homeless services
  • Tailoring mental health and behavioral health care for PEH
  • Tobacco use, Smoking cessation
  • Case manager’s wellbeing, burnout
  • Community integration
  • Models of supportive housing
  • Social support, social networks
  • Built environment, socio-environmental factors and their impact on health outcomes
  • Street medicine (some experience)

Links to HPRI Research

Kathryn Henderson

Kathryn Henderson

Principal Research Associate
Westat

kathrynhenderson@westat.com


Dr. Kathryn Henderson is a Principal Research Associate at Westat with 20 years of experience conducting mixed-methods research and evaluations on homeless service delivery systems, housing, employment programs, and health initiatives for youth, families, individuals, and older adults. She is currently managing evaluations of HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program and the current 5-year strategy for Hilton Foundation’s Homelessness Initiative and recently completed an evaluation of a ten-year systems initiative in three counties in Washington State for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to joining Westat, Dr. Henderson received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina.

Specializations:

Program, policies, and systems initiatives to meet the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations, homelessness and housing, social determinants of health

Research Strengths:

Expertise in the use of mixed methods research and evaluation, including: study design; the development of data collection instruments; collection and analysis of qualitative focus group and interview data; and quantitative data analysis, including analysis of longitudinal and large administrative datasets using a range of multivariate analytic techniques. 

Links to HPRI Research

Benjamin Henwood

Benjamin Henwood

Assistant Professor
USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

bhenwood@usc.edu


Benjamin Henwood, PhD, LCSW, is a recognized expert in health and housing services research whose work connects clinical interventions with social policy. Dr. Henwood has specific expertise in permanent supportive housing and on improving care for adults experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness, as well as in the integration of primary and behavioral health care. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (including the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and National Institute on Aging) and he has served as the methodological lead for the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count since 2017, which is the largest unsheltered count in the United States. He is a co-author of a book on Housing First published by Oxford University Press, and is the co-lead the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge to End Homelessness. Dr. Henwood is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

Specializations:

Health and social service delivery; homelessness; permanent supportive housing and housing first, integrated physical and behavioral healthcare

Qualitative and mixed methods design; ecological momentary assessment

Links to HPRI Research

Sofia Herrera

Sofia Herrera

Director of Research, Planning & Policy
Urban Initiatives

SofiaHerrera@Urban-Initiatives.org


Sofia Herrera, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who is involved in several activities in the field of community psychology. She is a research faculty member at the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and is also the Director of the seminary’s Office for Urban Initiatives. She is also the founder of the Institute for Community Psychology which is one of several community-based and faith-based institutes that partner under the non-profit, non-partisan Institute for Urban Initiatives. She is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and an Associate of the Mount Calvary Benedictine Retreat House and Monastery. She is also a passionate follower of the teachings of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and Teresa of Avila.

Specializations:

Links to HPRI Research

Carter Hewgley

Carter Hewgley

Director of Homeless Initiatives
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

chewgley@unitedwayla.org


Carter is an Adjunct Professor of Applied Analytics at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and is the Director of Homeless Initiatives at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where he focuses on building the evidence base, resources, and strategic coalition to end homelessness in LA County. He is the former Senior Advisor at the D.C. Department of Human Services, where he oversaw efforts to increase permanent housing exits, expand daytime service centers, launch shelter diversion programs, implement harm reduction in low barrier shelters, and strategically transition the family system away from a motel-sheltering model. Prior to working specifically working on homelessness, Carter was the Director of Analytics & Performance at the Center for Government Excellence at JHU and spent his career helping state, local and federal governments use data and evidence to solve problems big and small. Carter established the Enterprise Analytics Division at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, served as the Associate Director of Strategy & Performance at DC Public Schools and was an advisor to the Mayor and DC City Administrator on health and human services.

After graduating from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, Carter received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Specializations:

Health, Human Services, Homelessness, Emergency Management/Disaster Response, Special Education

Leveraging quantitative analytical methods and data science in an applied context, where those tools and techniques are leveraged for near real-time system improvements for public administrators.

Faith Huang

Faith Huang

PhD student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis

fyhhuang@ucdavis.edu


Faith is a PhD student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis. Her work involves using administrative data to evaluate agricultural and environmental policies as they pertain to homelessness.

Specializations:

Agricultural Economics, Environmental Economics

Research Strengths:

Econometrics, Causal Inference

Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter

Senior Behavioral Scientist
Rand Corporation

shunter@rand.org


Sarah Hunter is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She currently assists in quality assurance for the RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment unit. Hunter’s primary areas of interest are improving services for vulnerable populations; building community capacity for evidence-based program delivery; health care integration; implementation science; and program evaluation. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and RAND publications in a wide range of fields. Hunter currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. She has served as core faculty at the Implementation Research Institute at Washington University and on several grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health, most recently as a standing study section member for the Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health committee. Prior to joining RAND as a full-time researcher, Hunter was a Project Air Force summer associate for two years. Hunter received her B.A. from New York University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Specializations:

Healthcare, Mental Health, Substance Abuse

Program Evaluation

Links to HPRI Research

Andrea Iloulian

Andrea Iloulian

Strategic Advisor
Homeless Initiative and Affordable Housing, LA County CEO

andrea@hiltonfoundation.org


Andrea Iloulian manages the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s domestic grantmaking in the area of chronic homelessness. Prior to joining the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Iloulian worked in commercial property management, where she served as property manager of Class A high rise office buildings in the downtown and Miracle Mile areas of Los Angeles. Iloulian also previously held positions with TreePeople, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s PLACE Program, and served as a senior consultant at MAXIMUS. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Grantmaking

Mazharul Islam

Mazharul Islam

Director of Data Management
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)

mislam@lahsa.org


Mazharul Islam is the Director of Data Management at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Islam provides leadership for the continued development of innovation, advanced capabilities to foster collaboration, knowledge management and data visualization at the agency. He has over 15 years of experience in the information management and technology field encompassing responsibility for knowledge management, IT customer service, systems support, and applied information management training. Prior to joining LAHSA, he managed Support Services department at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). In this role, he managed portfolio of over 14,000 landlords participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and was responsible for the provision of information technology services at the Section 8 department. He is interested in data organization strategies and predictive analytics to assist with combating homelessness

Specializations:

Affordable Housing, Homelessness

Information Management and Technology, Predictive analytics

William Jackson

William Jackson

Lead Outreach
Housing Works CA
 wjackson@housingworksca.org
 @innersiddhi


William Jackson is a native Angeleno who was homeless for 4 years, his journey taking him across Los Angeles, to New York, to France, then back to LA again (going through all levels of homelessness in the process – from sleeping on friend’s floors and couches to living in a vehicle to sleeping on the sidewalks of Hollywood to living or sleeping in shelters). Will is an original member of Ktown For All, a homeless outreach and advocacy group that started as a counter-protest to all the residents of Koreatown coming out against Bridge Housing in Koreatown, countering their antipathy towards the homeless with love, compassion, openness, and services for our unhoused neighbors. William Jackson has also worked as a public servant, serving as Chair of the Homelessness Committee for Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, where within that capacity he succeeded in acquiring a trash disposal service for cleaning up garbage from the encampments in Ktown and where, also, he also took part in developing LA’s first Homelessness Resource Fair that took place in 2019. Lastly, for over 2 years now, Will has been working professionally in the field of homeless services as an Outreach Specialist and Housing Navigator for Housing Works CA, an org started by Mollie Lowery where housing first is a priority, knowing how housing itself is medicine.

Aras Jizan

Aras Jizan

Portfolio Lead for Data and Technology
Built for Zero
Community Solutions 

ajizan@community.solutions


Aras is the Head of Data and Technology for the Built for Zero initiative at Community Solutions. In this role, he leads a team that develops and deploys metrics, tools, and trainings that empower communities to leverage data analytics in their work to end homelessness. Prior to joining Community Solutions, Aras worked as a consultant specializing in the measurement and evaluation of food security projects in the developing world. Aras holds degrees from the University of Toronto and UCLA, served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team, and sits on the board of Our Minds Matter, a nonprofit organization working toward the day when no teenager turns to suicide.

Specializations:

Data for improvement, homelessness, data science

Research Strengths:

Applied statistics, data integrations

Melissa King

Melissa King

Principal
People’s Health Solutions 

mking@peopleshealthsolutions.com
@peoples_health
  www.linkedin.com/in/melissaanneking/


Melissa King, PhD, MPA, is co-principal of People’s Health Solutions, a team of scientists and artists whose mission is building healthy and sustainable communities. In this role, she is helping changemakers to understand community needs, design people-centered solutions, and show their impact through data visualization and storytelling.

A social and behavioral scientist, Dr. King uses community-based participatory approaches to understand the myriad of factors that influence health and human behavior. Prior to founding PHS, she was a researcher and co-instructor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, where her focus was primary care and mental health integration and building healing-centered organizations.

A former science journalist, Dr. King has 20 years of experience in creative communication that she pairs with her research training to address timely housing policy research questions. This has most recently included a landscape analysis of Los Angeles city and county healthcare coordination and rapid-response research on experiences of intimate partner violence during COVID-19. A strong believer in democratic approaches to research and evaluation, she uses compassionate facilitation to empower people with lived experience at all stages. Dr. King holds a PhD in Social & Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin. Her academic research is centered around how civic engagement can contribute to the implementation of more effective public health initiatives. She has also researched the application of social capital theory to anti-poverty and public housing programs.

Dr. King is dedicated to advancing race and gender equity, and she is a member of the HPRI Race Equity Committee, American Evaluation Association, and National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation.

Specializations:

Housing and homelessness (with particular focus on transition-age youth), primary care and mental health integration, community safety, racial and gender equity, and intimate partner violence

Links to HPRI Research

Chris Ko

Chris Ko

Director, Homeless Initiatives
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

cko@unitedwayla.org


Chris Ko serves as the Director of Homeless Initiatives for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, managing Home For Good, LA’s collective plan to end homelessness. In this role, he leads California’s largest community-based effort to end homelessness and developed the Coordinated Entry System, which went onto became a national model.

He has enjoyed seeing different approaches to social change, being an officer at an after school program in West Philadelphia, managing IT at a Liberian Refugee Camp Self-Help Initiative, and serving as an economic development policy aide for the Mayor’s Office. The Coro Foundation also named him a Public Affairs Leadership fellow through which he worked for the D.A., SEIU, KPCC, and LAUSD.

Chris was an Urban Studies major at the University of Pennsylvania and was also named one of Next City’s 40-under-40 Vanguards. Previously, he served on the boards of Coro Southern CA and the Supply Education Group.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Veteran Homelessness, Needs Assessments, Systems Change

Alexis Coulourides Kogan

Alexis Coulourides Kogan

Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics
USC Keck School of Medicine

acoulour@usc.edu
 @AlexisCKogan


Alexis Coulourides Kogan, Ph.D. (she/her/hers), is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Director of Research for the Division of Street Medicine. She also holds a joint appointment at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She is a Fellow of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and affiliate member of the USC Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science and Innovation. Dr. Coulourides Kogan is a mixed-methods health systems researcher who focuses on translation and measurement of person-centered models of care and education for older adults and individuals with serious illness. Her work focuses on street- and home-based models of care to better meet the physical health and social needs of older adult patients, patients with serious illness, and their caregivers. Dr. Coulourides Kogan has a special interest in person-centered care for older adults, advance care planning, palliative care, and special populations, such as people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Specializations:

Person-centered care, palliative care, end-of-life, gerontology,
primary care, street medicine

Research Strengths:

Qualitative research, intervention development

Links to HPRI Research

Jennifer Kottke

Jennifer Kottke

Homeless Education Coordinator II, Division of Student Support Services
Los Angeles County Office of Education

Kottke_Jennifer@lacoe.edu


Jennifer Kottke began her educational career as a classroom teacher in 1997. She largely taught upper-grade students in neighborhoods with high-density populations, high rates of poverty and homelessness, and high rates of community violence. In 2001 she became involved in homeless education through a Friday night program where we would provide meals, crafts, and parent education for families experiencing homelessness within her district. Following this, Jennifer took on increasing responsibilities at her school site and then within her school district on the implementation of McKinney-Vento rights and services. She was the Homeless Education administrator for the district until 2015 when she took a position at the County Office of Education. For a brief spell, she was coordinating services for Foster Youth Services and then returned to Homeless Education in 2019. Jennifer now serves as the Homeless Education Coordinator for the County of Los Angeles. She serves and supports 80 districts and over 300 charter schools as they serve and support their students experiencing homelessness.

Specializations:

Working with high-risk/at-risk student populations, particularly students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care. 

Leadership capacity building including program design, implementation, and building strong internal teams for effective services.  

Quantitative research analyzing piloting curriculum prior to implementation at school sites, and research focused on the perceptions of caregivers and their role in supporting students in foster care.  

Randall Kuhn

Randall Kuhn

Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Services
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

kuhn@ucla.edu
 @SDGoal18
  https://www.linkedin.com/in/engbiao


Randall Kuhn conducts longitudinal research on the health and well-being of unhoused populations. Kuhn conducted some of the earliest quantitative research on health and substance use risks among chronically homeless adults. He led recent studies of COVID-19 mortality by homelessness status and race/ethnicityunsheltered homelessness and health; and COVID-19 vaccination among unhoused populations. He currently leads or co-leads new studies that use mobile phones to measure the well-being of unhoused and recently-housed populations. To learn more, visit: https://www.homelessresearch.akidolabs.com/.
Specializations:
Aging, Maternal and Child Health, Demography, Global Health, Health Disparities, Health Surveillance Programs, Migration and Immigrant Health, Physical and Social Environmental Determinants of Health, Population Health

Program Planning and Evaluation, Research Methods

Links to HPRI Research

Keenan Leary

Keenan Leary

Project Coordinator, Homeless Services
South Bay Cities Council of  Governments

keenan@southbaycities.org
 @krleary
https://www.linkedin.com/in/keenan-leary18/


Keenan Leary is a recent MSW recipient from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with an area of concentration in Social and Economic Justice. He is interested in the intersection of futures of work and welfare economics, especially as it pertains to homelessness and other populations churned out of late-stage capitalism.  His previous work includes experience supporting mental health at all early age levels (pre-k, elementary, middle, high school, college) through program management and mentorship.  He supported the current ongoing HPRI research of nonprofit Miracle Message’s basic income pilot, Miracle Money, from 2022-2023. Now at the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) as a Housing Project Coordinator, Keenan solves daily for market inefficiencies and barriers to entry in affordable housing through partnerships across government, nonprofits, developers, owners, and managers.

Specializations:

Cash aid programs, Affordable housing tax credits, Housing choice vouchers, Time-limited subsidies, Master leasing, Credit and debt, Short-term rentals, Economic development strategies, Welfare benefit cliffs, Juvenile justice

Research Strengths:

Open-ended interviewing, Transcription editing, Coding, Generation of Qualitative Insights and Results

Links to HPRI Research

Soomi Lee

Soomi Lee

Professor and Director of the Master of Public Administration program 
University of La Verne
slee4@laverne.edu
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/soomilee/


Soomi Lee is a Professor and Director of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of La Verne, with a Ph.D. in Economics and Political Science from Claremont Graduate University. Her expertise lies in public policy, public finance, and urban economics. Her contributions have been published in top academic journals, including Urban Studies, Urban Affairs Review, Regional Studies, Journal of Socioeconomics, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Public Finance Review, and Basic Income Studies.

Specializations:

Local and state tax policy, Property taxes, Housing stability, Universal basic income

Research Strengths:

A causal inference framework for research designs such as synthetic control methods and difference-in-differences using econometric models.

Links to HPRI Research

Kate Leifheit

Kate Leifheit

Assistant Professor, PediatricsUCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

kleifheit@g.ucla.edu
 @LeifScience


Kate Leifheit is a social epidemiologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Her research seeks to identify social policy levers to improve population health and health equity, with a focus on housing policy. Recent work evaluates effects of evictions and eviction policies on child health and population health outcomes.

Specializations:

Interventions to prevent homelessness (e.g. eviction moratoriums, rent relief, and right to legal counsel in rent courts) and promote housing affordability (e.g. single family zoning bans, broader anti-poverty measures). 

Research Strengths:

Kate’s work draws from methods in descriptive epidemiology, demography, longitudinal and multilevel modeling, spatial statistics, and causal inference. Kate’s strengths are largely quantitative, though she has enjoyed collaborating with qualitative researchers on mixed methods research. 

Compiling, merging and analyzing large public and confidential data sets; GIS-based spatial analysis

Josh Leopold

Josh Leopold

Senior Research Associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Urban Institute

jleopold@urban.org


Josh Leopold is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where his work focuses on homelessness and affordable housing policy.

Before joining Urban, Leopold was a management and program analyst at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). At USICH, he helped implement the Obama administration’s plan for ending chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans by 2015; he also helped develop a national research agenda related to homelessness. From 2006 to 2011, he worked as an analyst for Abt Associates, where he was involved in numerous studies, including the Annual Homeless Assessment Report; the Costs of Homelessness study; the Study of Rents and Rent Flexibility in Subsidized Housing; and an evaluation of the AmeriCorps program.

Leopold has a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, Iowa, and a master’s degree in information science from the University of Michigan.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Housing, Race, Veteran Homelessness, Housing Finance, Poverty, Vulnerability, Saftey Net

Links to HPRI Research

Rue Mansour

Rue Mansour

Program Associate
Advocates for Human Potential
  ruemansour@gmail.com
 @RueMansour
  www.linkedin.com/ruqayyahmansour/


Rue Mansour is currently a Program Associate at Advocates for Human Potential as well as Ph.D. student at the Gervitz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in international relations and a minor in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a graduate student, her interests focus on American educational policy as it pertains to youth experiencing homelessness.

Rue has over ten years of experience working with nonprofit and private organizations that support youth experiencing homelessness. She has served several roles including program associate, recruitment coordinator, instructional coordinator, curriculum on homelessness co-author, and operations staff, among other roles.

Emily Martiniuk

Emily Martiniuk

Commissioner
Measure ULA Oversight Committee
  msemilymartiniuk@gmail.com


After finding herself homeless at the age of 59, and pulling herself out of the depths of homelessness, not only has Emily been able to understand the homeless condition, she has made it her mission to end homelessness as we know it today.

Following many years of recovery she is now a Corporation of Supportive Housing, Speak Up!  Advocate.  As a Speak Up! Advocate she traveled to Sacramento to speak to the California Assembly about the homeless plight and her story of lived homelessness.

In July, 2017 Emily was invited by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and California House Representative Barbara Lee to speak on the lawn at the United States Capital. She was given the opportunity to share her story of homelessness, and meet with other members of the House of Representatives, and Senate.

Returning to Washington D.C. in July 2018, Emily spoke and participated on a panel at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Emily attends numerous events in Los Angeles; including Board of Supervisors, City Council meetings and important legislative events at City a Hall, as well as Neighborhood Council meetings.

In 2019, Emily was honored to be the Housing California Advocate of the Year.

Emily is often asked to speak at events throughout the Los Angeles area regarding the homeless epidemic in Los Angeles County.  She has participated in a Neighbors Lifting Neighbors event at the Ebell of Los Angeles theater, engagements at USC campus, and USC hospital.

2023, after participating on a 2 year year study for PCHOOSE, she and the other advocates are receiving authorship recognition.

Emily is regularly approached with unexpected speaking opportunities; Kelvin Melvin from MSNBC news knocked on her door for an interview, she received an invitation to attend the 2018 Gubernatorial Debate at USC and received an invitation to lunch with an Ambassador!

Emily never fails to acknowledge the countless people who have worked tirelessly to help her. It was through persistence and courage that enabled Emily to pull herself out of the dire straits of the humiliation she experienced while homeless.

You will often hear Emily say, “Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.”

Being one of the founding speakers for the United Way’s Everyone In Housing campaign has opened the doors for Emily to rise above the oppression and the stigma of homelessness, giving her the opportunity to participate as spokesperson for the Unite to Home Campaign for Measure ULA, including a commission from Mayor Karen Bass, on the Oversight Commission for Measure ULA.

Speaking out against the factions that continue to oppress the homeless and the good citizens of California, who have been forced to endure the crises of homelessness.

Fighting for the homeless and the good people who work tirelessly to end homelessness, the many unseen grassroots organizations, the citizens, and the future of Los Angeles (our children) ending homelessness one person at a time.

In closing, You will always hear Emily say,” Los Angeles is the city of compassionate angels, angels who want to end homelessness.

We will end homelessness as we know it today, because Angels perform miracles!

Links to HPRI Research

Anne Miskey

Anne Miskey

Chief Executive Officer
Union Station Homeless Services


Anne Miskey serves as Chief Executive Officer of Union Station Homeless Services. Anne is a nationally recognized expert on strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to ending homelessness. She is a passionate proponent of the most vulnerable in society and of creating long term, positive change and strong systems that support those experiencing poverty, violence, racism and homelessness. Anne has been invited on numerous occasions to speak at the White House on topics including women and youth homelessness. She also worked on former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Campaign to help veterans. Anne has worked closely with the federal departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Labor to champion support for vulnerable families and individuals in the areas of housing, health, and employment. A sought-after speaker and leader in the community Anne fosters conversations about the systemic issues that are driving homelessness and debunking myths about those experiencing homelessness. In addition, Anne has been nominated as a woman CEO showing leadership during times of chaos by the Los Angeles Business Journal in conjunction with their Women’s Leadership Series and Awards.

Locally, Anne is the co-chair of the Business Oversight Committee of Councilmember John Kennedy’s “We Must Breathe” advisory group to help Pasadena businesses and organizations achieve racial equality in order to maximize operational efficiency. She has also served on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Ad Hoc Committee on Women’s Homelessness as well as the Steering Committee for the Provider Alliance, a network of over 70 non-profit organizations working on homelessness. In addition she sits on the National Board for the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), a non-profit dedicated to the intersection of human services, healthcare and affordable housing. Prior to joining Union Station Homeless Services, Anne was the CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) and first ever Executive Director of Funders Together to End Homelessness. Her more than 25 years working in both the corporate and non-profit sectors has given her a unique perspective on the intersection of non-profits, governments and communities in effecting and supporting an end to major social problems. Originally from Arizona, Anne lived for much of her life in both western and central Canada. She received a BA in history and theater from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, and her Masters of Divinity degree from the University of Toronto.

Joy Moses

Joy Moses

Vice President of Research and Evidence
National Alliance to End Homelessness
jmoses@naeh.org
 @Joy_Moses
 www.linkedin.com/in/joymoses/ 


Joy Moses is the Vice President of Research and Evidence. For over 15 years, she has worked to reduce poverty and advance racial justice. Before joining the Alliance, she was a private consultant and analyst with the Center for American Progress. Within those roles, she managed projects and developed research reports and other forms of analysis. Joy began her career as a legal advocate, representing the interests of children and youth through her work at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Links to HPRI Research

Jennifer Mosley

Jennifer Mosley

Professor
University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

mosley@uchicago.edu


Jennifer E. Mosley is an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her research broadly focuses on the political engagement of nonprofit and community based organizations, particularly in the areas of homeless services and child welfare. Recent projects have explored the relationship between advocacy and improved democratic representation, how organizations balance self-interest with larger community goals, and how public administration and nonprofit management trends, particularly collaborative governance and contracting, affect nonprofits’ advocacy role. She has a Ph.D. and an M.S.W. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. from Reed College. Her research has been published in a variety of journals from different fields, including the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Social Service Review, and Urban Affairs Review.
Specializations:
Nonprofit Organizations, Human Services, Policy Formulation & Implementation, Collaborative Governance, Advocacy, Homelessness

Mixed methods research, survey research, stakeholder interviews, comparative case study analysis

Links to HPRI Research

Saba Mwine-Chang

Saba Mwine-Chang

Managing Director 
Homelessness Policy Research Institute
smwine@usc.edu


Saba Mwine (She/Her/Hers) is the managing director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI), a collaborative of over one hundred researchers, policymakers, service providers and people with lived experience that accelerate equitable and culturally informed solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County by advancing knowledge and fostering transformational partnerships between research, policy and practice. Saba has twenty years of experience spearheading housing justice work throughout the nation: measuring access to housing based on race and other protected classes and supporting equity centered collaborative initiatives in the movement to end homelessness. Saba has played numerous roles, from project designer and civil rights investigator, test coordinator to management consultant, racial equity educator and practitioner. In her tenure at the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), she worked to establish their first racial equity initiatives via fundraising, designing grant programming, developing and delivering transformative learnings, and guiding community initiatives. Saba is a classically trained actor and holds a master’s of fine arts in theatre; she is committed to the arts as a tool for healing racial trauma and shaping community spaces. In California and nationally, Saba is a prominent voice in the movement to establish racism and white supremacy culture as the most pervasive and least examined cause and perpetuator of homelessness.

As managing director of HPRI, Saba is responsible for advancing the Institute’s strategic vision to express equity in all activities and engage community with lived experience of homelessness and serves as the lead staff person for all HPRI activities, including conducting and supervising rapid response research, RFP services, and research translation. Additionally, Saba supports the implementation of HPRI’s research agenda and works in close leadership with HPRI’s Race Equity Committee and other stakeholders to establish equity frameworks for key areas of the HPRI’s work. She is also responsible for planning and producing HPRI research symposia and other events and helps conduct policy outreach at the local, state, and national levels.

Specializations:
Race Equity Training, Homelessness, Supportive Housing, Housing, Community-Based Research, Qualitative Research

Links to HPRI Research

Michael Nailat

Michael Nailat

Program Officer
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

mnailat@unitedwayla.org


Michael Nailat is a Program Officer with the Home For Good team. He is the founder and lead organizer of the Homelessness Analysis Collaborative (HAC), an alliance of researchers and analysts throughout LA County that develop tools and creative approaches to better understanding homelessness and ways to end it. He also oversees the implementation of the Standards of Excellence, community-wide performance goals and quality standards for service and housing providers. Prior to joining the team, Michael served as the Outcomes Unit Manager at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, where he oversaw grantee performance reporting, continuum-wide goal setting, and HMIS report development. He also worked for many years at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), where he developed programs around youth leadership, political engagement, information technology, and music education.

An avid patron of the creative arts, Michael is the founder of Sessions LA, an afterschool DJ and music production program for urban youth, and he also produces the popular podcast “This Filipino American Life.” He also serves as a Steering Committee member for the LA Chapter of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP-LA). In his spare time, he is a freelance grant writer, IT consultant, DJ, photographer, and community organizer. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from USC, and degrees in Social Science and Asian American Studies from UC Irvine.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Grantmaking

Deyanira Nevárez Martínez

Deyanira Nevárez Martínez

Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning

Michigan State University

nevarez1@msu.edu


Deyanira Nevárez Martínez is an assistant professor in the Urban & Regional Planning Program at Michigan State University. Prior to joining the program in the fall of 2021, she earned a PhD in Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy with an emphasis in Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Nevárez Martínez is an ethnographer who primarily employs qualitative methods. Her research has focused on the role of the state in homelessness and housing precarity and informality. A major theme in her work is the criminalization of poverty in the United States.

Links to HPRI Research

Margaret Nkansah

Margaret Nkansah

Post-doctoral health services research fellow
National Clinician Scholars Program, UCLA

mnkansah@mednet.ucla.edu


Margaret Nkansah is a post-doctoral health services research fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program (formerly Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program) at UCLA. She completed her clinical training at LA General Medical Center in the combined Internal Medicine & Pediatrics program with a 5th year Med-Peds chief year. She has been engaged in outreach, quality improvement, and program development for people experiencing homelessness through partnered work. Her interests are in advocating for adults and children experiencing homelessness with current goals in investigating encampment displacement, housing insecurity, and parent-child dyad interventions during her fellowship.

Specializations:

Adults & children experiencing homelessness, Families experiencing homelessness, Community health, Program development

Research Strengths:

Prior experience in community needs assessments and quality improvement; Currently exploring secondary data analyses and implementation science

Derek Novacek

Derek Novacek

Research Psychologist, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA
Derek.Novacek@va.gov


Derek Novacek is a Research Psychologist at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System and an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. His research focuses on identifying sociocultural factors that influence the mental health and community integration of Veterans who have experienced homelessness. His work has been published in various academic journals including the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Psychiatry Research, Health and Social Care in the Community, and Traumatology. Dr. Novacek holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Emory University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment.

Links to HPRI Research

Alisa Orduña

Alisa Orduña

Founder & Managing Principal
Florence Aliese Advancement Network 
adorduna@faan.community
  www.linkedin.com/in/alisaorduna/ 
 @a.d.orduna


Dr. Iya Alisa Osunfunke Orduña is a depth-psychologist researcher, community engagement facilitator, and writer. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Alisa served as a homelessness policy analyst, strategic advisor, and community engagement facilitator to local governments, public officials, social service nonprofits, and policy influencers. She understands firsthand how past public policies and social service systems have caused harm to multiple communities, leaving legacies of social division, hierarchies of power, segregation, and loss of autonomy. She now dedicates her service to addressing the national racial reckoning and homelessness crisis through the development of community engagement and healing processes that foster cultures of belonging.

In 2020, Dr. Alisa founded her own consulting firm, Florence Aliese Advancement Network, LLC, where she leads communities and organizations through facilitated process of remembering and rewriting stories to reconnect to who they truly are. In coming from a deeper place of authenticity and honest dialogue, Dr. Alisa believes that communities can overcome historic tensions and harm to come together to co-design programs, policies, and practices that advance towards beloved communities where all members thrive. She curates brave spaces for interpersonal dialogue, listening, and learning by incorporating community derived data, visioning, expressive arts, social dreaming techniques, nature, and storytellin.

Dr. Alisa is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (BA-English), the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (MPIA- Social and Economic Development), and Pacifica Graduate Institute (PhD and MA-Depth Psychology with a specialization in Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychology).

Links to HPRI Research

Gary Painter

Gary Painter

Academic Director
Real Estate Center at the University of Cincinnati

paintegd@ucmail.uc.edu


Gary Painter is the Academic Director of the Real Estate Center at the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as a professor of real estate and the inaugural holder of the BEARE Chair in Real Estate. Additionally, Dr. Painter is part of the University of Cincinnati’s Urban Futures initiative, where he will bring social innovation approaches to identify innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions to accelerate economic growth and socio-economic mobility to create a better future for all. He also serves as the Director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. He recently published a co-authored book entitled, “Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based Payment Systems in the UK and US.” He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter is a leading figure in the field of social innovation. In addition to his recent book, he works extensively with a variety of social innovation organizations and collective impact networks to address some of the grand challenges that society faces. His current research focuses on how to activate the social innovation process. Professor Painter also has extensive expertise in housing, urban economics, and education policy, which shapes his research on how the social innovation process can identify new models of social change within these complex policy areas.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thorton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America. Read more.
Specializations:
Urban Economics, Education, Housing, Demographics, Immigrant Integration, Employment, Social Innovation

Econometrics

Links to HPRI Research

Fabricia da Hora Pereira

Fabricia da Hora Pereira

Social Worker
Human Rights Centers
Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios (MPDFT)


 fabriciahora@gmail.com


Fabricia da Hora Pereira, PhD in Public Policy, is Principal Researcher for Human Rights Centers, at Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios (MPDFT) in Brasília, Brazil, where she designs, evaluates, and implements programs and initiatives to address the shelters, social service, health and violation of human rights of vulnerable populations. She moved to Los Angeles in 2020. Dr. da Hora Pereira has been researching homelessness in Brazil since 2009, she is an expert in qualitative method analysis, such as: interviews, focus groups, life histories and field research techniques, including race and gender analysis.

She has experience in quantitative analysis of population profiles and socioeconomic indicators. Currently, Dr. da Hora Pereira coordinates an interdisciplinary team for three research studies at the Human Rights Centers: 1- evaluation of homeless shelters for adults and families; 2- social distancing and gender violence against women during the pandemic; 3- examine the current public policies implemented by the Executive branch of the Distrito Federal for homeless people.

In the area of homelessness, her research studies were the first initiative that involved the use of consistent techniques of public policy analysis at Human Rights Centers and it was transformed into a permanent program. At the same time, the research results have been used to support government and non-profit organizations to implement public policies for homeless people based on evidence.

The results of the projects about gender and violence against women were used by the Members of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Femicide to support the elaboration of legislative proposals to prevent domestic violence and femicide in Brasilia, Brazil.

Since 2020 she joined the Task Force in Monitoring the Actions to Combat and Prevent the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) to evaluate the public policies implemented by the Governo do Distrito Federal during the pandemic for homeless people.

In 2019 she participated in the team that prepared the Gender, Race and Diversity Equality Policy of the Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios which included a proposed action to implement the policy.

She worked in health services and shelters for homeless people, including the design of the shelter’s policy, and participated in the government commission that developed public policies for this population in Brasília. During the years 2015 to 2017, she was a professor at Faculdade Evangélica de Brasília and coordinated a Project to Prevent Violations of the Rights of Homeless People.
Specializations:
Gender, race, homelessness and housing, social determinants of health, mental health: alcohol and other drug abuse and trauma, social service, and the violation of human rights of vulnerable populations
Research Strengths:
Research methods and evaluation, including interviews, focus groups, life histories, field research techniques, quantitative analysis of population profile, and socioeconomic indicators

Links to HPRI Research

Andy Perry

Andy Perry

Program Specialist
Analytics Center of Excellence Team
LA County CEO/CIO

APerry@ceo.lacounty.gov


Andy Perry is a member of the Analytics Center of Excellence (ACE) Team at Los Angeles County’s Office of the Chief Information Officer. Andy conducts research and evaluation projects using the OCIO’s Infohub integrated data system to gain a 360-degree view of the County’s residents and to help improve service delivery and outcomes across departments. Prior to coming to the County, Andy contributed to and ran data programs at nonprofit organizations including CSH, Enroll America, and VPIRG, as well as several successful electoral campaigns. An expert at translating back and forth between “data-speak” and “program-speak,” Andy has used data and analytics to improve program design and implementation in order to find and enroll uninsured consumers in California, guide a statewide summer door canvas to support labeling GMOs in Vermont, and better understand and meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Andy holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree from Brown University, and a preliminary teaching certificate from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Specializations:
Data integration and data policy, homelessness, anti-racist policy

Research Strengths:
Targeting, operationalizing predictive analytics, data-driven program design and management

Robin Petering

Robin Petering

Founder + Senior Researcher
Lens Co. 

robin@lensco.la
 @lensco.la


Dr. Petering is a community-based researcher at Lens Co, a research and advocacy consulting enterprise. Dr. Petering currently oversees several evaluation contracts with agencies across the country that serve young people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Petering’s approach to research and evaluation is to prioritize inclusiveness and equity for all individuals and agencies involved in any given project. Dr. Petering is regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of research on young adults experiencing homelessness informed by her personal experience as a front-line worker and volunteer in agencies that serve this population.

Specializations:

The impact of homelessness experienced by young people.

Dr. Petering has strengths in quantitative, social network, and community-engaged research methods. 

Links to HPRI Research

David Phillips

David Phillips

Research Associate Professor
Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities at the University of Notre Dame

david.phillips.184@nd.edu


David Phillips, Ph.D., works in the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) within the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on poverty, particularly as it relates to low-wage labor markets, crime, and housing. His research has been published in high quality economics field journals and presented widely for policy audiences. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, David received a Bachelor’s degree from Butler University, earned a PhD in Economics from Georgetown University, and worked for 4 years at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Specializations:

Poverty, housing, transportation, crime, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing

Quantitative impact evaluation, randomized control trials, quasi-experimental studies

Links to HPRI Research

Kara Young Ponder

Kara Young Ponder

Director of Community Engagement and Racial Justice
Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative

kara.ponder@ucsf.edu
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kara-young-ponder/
https://twitter.com/karayoungponder


Dr. Kara Young Ponder is the Director of Community Engagement and Racial Justice at BHHI. In this role, she leads community partnerships, analyses of race and racism, and the internal learning and professional development program for BHHI staff. She played a leadership role in the research design, fieldwork operations, data analysis, and writing of the California Statewide Study of People Experience Homelessness (CASPEH) and led the three community advisory boards attached to the study. She is the primary author of Toward Equity: Understanding Black Californians’ Experiences of Homelessness and Creating Authentic, Effective Partnerships between Organizations and People with Lived Experiences: A Toolkit. An educator and social justice practitioner, Kara has taught in college, high school, prison, transitional living facilities, and drug recovery centers. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brown University.

Specializations:

Racial justice and homelessness, Discrimination and homelessness, Trauma-informed policies and practices

Research Strengths:

I am a qualitative researcher with a specialization in in-depth interviewing.

Links to HPRI Research

Vincent Quan

Vincent Quan

Co-Executive Director
J-PAL North America

vquan@povertyactionlab.org
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/vincent-quan-12687440/


Vincent Quan is co-executive director of J-PAL North America. Together with Laura Feeney, his co-executive director, Vincent leads the office’s efforts to reduce poverty by ensuring policy is informed by rigorous evidence in the North America region. Vincent provides strategic direction to the policy and training teams and oversees partnership development and outreach for the office. He works closely with policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and donors to promote evidence generation and increase the use of evidence in policy making.

Prior to his role as co-executive director, Vincent led the policy team at J-PAL North America. He has extensive experience translating the results from randomized evaluations into action, promoting a culture of evidence-informed policy across the region. Vincent oversaw J-PAL North America’s efforts to cultivate lasting relationships with partners across the evidence-based policymaking ecosystem, including government policymakers, philanthropic leaders, and nonprofit heads. He also launched multiple new initiatives, including the Education Technology and Opportunity Initiative and the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Initiative, to generate important studies to identify effective solutions to address poverty. Under Vincent’s leadership, research catalyzed by J-PAL North America directly informed policy across all levels of government, including federal recommendations and state policies on education.

Before joining J-PAL, Vincent worked at the Prison Law Office, where he conducted research to improve conditions of confinement in prisons across California, and at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, where he assisted low-income residents in navigating the criminal court system. He holds a master’s in public administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in history from UC Berkeley.

Specializations:

Poverty and social policy research

Research Strengths:

Experience in randomized evaluations and meta-analyses

Links to HPRI Research

Eric Rice

Eric Rice

Co-Director; Associate Professor
USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society; USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

ericr@usc.edu


Eric Rice is an associate professor and the founding co-director of the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society, a joint venture of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Rice received a BA from the University of Chicago, and an MA and PhD in Sociology from Stanford University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the USC faculty in 2009. In 2012 he received the John B. Reid Early Career Award through the Society for Prevention Research.

He specializes in social network science and theory, as well as community-based research. His primary focus is on youth experiencing homelessness and how issues of social network influence may affect risk-taking behaviors and resilience. For several years he has been working with colleague Milind Tambe to merge social work science and AI, seeking novel solutions to major social problems such as homelessness and HIV.

Rice is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in such publications as the American Journal of Public Health, AIDS and Behavior, the Journal of Adolescent Health, Pediatrics, Child Development, and the Journal of the Society for Social Work Research. He is the recipient of grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, the Army Research Office and other agencies.

Since 2002 he has worked closely with homeless youth providers in Los Angeles and many other communities across the country to develop novel solutions to end youth homelessness and to support young people who experience homelessness. He is the creator of the TAY Triage Tool—to identify high-risk homeless youth for prioritizing them for supportive housing—which was incorporated into Orgcode’s Next Step Tool for homeless youth. Along with Robin Petering, Rice is the co-chair of the West Coast Convening, a policy and practice working group of homeless youth providers, advocates, researchers and funders. With Megan Blondin, he created the Coordinated Entry Learning Collaborative, a national project involving nine communities working to vet best practices for the creation and implementation of coordinated housing referral systems. Rice’s primary collaborators in Los Angeles are the LGBT Center, My Friend’s Place and Safe Place for Youth.

Specializations:

Social work, Youth homelessness, HIV Prevention, Community-based research

Enter here!Econometrics, Social network analysis, Network science

Links to HPRI Research

Molly Richard

Molly Richard

PHD Candidate
Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University
molly.k.richard@vanderbilt.edu


Molly Richard (she/they) is a PhD candidate in Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University. Molly’s research focuses on addressing racial inequities in homelessness, including quantitative research on the structural factors that drive disparities and qualitative research on community response. She also studies the implications of using different definitions of homelessness, including those doubling up. Prior to graduate school, Molly was a member of the research team at C4 innovations, where she served as Assistant Project Director for the SPARC initiative. They continue to support racial equity research and action projects in the homelessness field through collaboration with Racial Equity Partners.

Links to HPRI Research

Agueda Rivas

Agueda Rivas

Director of Intensive & Homeless Services
Enki Health Services, Inc.

arivas@enkihealth.org


Agueda Rivas is the Director of Intensive & Homeless Services (DIHS) at Enki Health Services, Inc. Enki contracts with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to provide mental health services to youth, families and adults. As the DIHS, Agueda oversees the field-based programs and supports multi-disciplinary teams focused on addressing client needs to support mental health recovery. Through a housing first approach, teams support clients with obtaining things such as interim housing, permanent supportive housing, financial benefits, etc.

Agueda comes with over 15 years’ experience in the non-profit sector serving historically marginalized communities via youth development work, LGBTQIA mental health education/HIV testing and field-based mental health services. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC). Agueda is passionate about addressing mental health needs through intensive field-based services that account for the whole person and address the needs of marginalized and displaced communities.

Specializations:

Mental health and housing insecurity, Crisis response, Permanent supportive housing

Charles Robbins

Charles Robbins

Principal
HMA Community Strategies

crobbins@healthmanagement.com
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbinscharles/


For three decades Charles Robbins held executive leadership positions with national and local nonprofit organizations providing behavioral health, housing, and social service programming. With more than 30 years of recovery from stimulant use and alcohol, Mr. Robbins possesses extensive knowledge of substance use disorder (SUD) evidence-based prevention and treatment programs.

His recent projects include conducting an evaluation of the Los Angeles County strategies to expand and enhance interim/bridge housing and emergency shelter services. He conducted an evaluation of the City of Los Angeles FamilySource System designed to prevent homelessness and lift families out of poverty. Mr. Robbins has been involved in three multi-county State Opioid Response (SOR) grants focused on the expansion of medications for addiction treatment (MAT) in California. He was the project manager for HMA’s Perinatal MAT Expansion grant. He is a mentor for HMA’s Transitions of Care project and a coach for the JailMAT/Child Welfare learning collaborative.

Mr. Robbins joined HMA from a federally qualified health center in Los Angeles providing healthcare and social services to the HIV, LGBTQ, and low-income populations. He oversaw all fund development, public and government relations, community strategies, and coalition building. The organization received Housing Opportunities for People Living with AIDS (HOPWA) funding for housing services.

Prior he served as vice president at a behavioral health and child welfare agency in Los Angeles. Mr. Robbins was instrumental in expanding programs to include homeless transition age youth (TAY) drop-in services, crisis shelter, and bridge housing. Under his leadership, the agency opened a TAY drop-in center securing leased space at a federally qualified health clinic. He was successful in obtaining federal funding from the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) for a homeless youth street outreach program. He successfully obtained a contract with Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to open crisis shelter and bridge housing programs. Charles’ early career work included executive leadership positions at The Trevor Project, the National LGBT Task Force, GLAAD, and the founding of Project Angel Heart, a home delivered meal program in Denver.

Mr. Robbins is skilled at organizational development, program implementation, community engagement, and how to improve coordination of services for vulnerable populations. He understands the complexities of working with vulnerable/at-risk populations as well as the challenges of limited resources. He is skilled in supporting the effective implementation of evidence-based programs and cross-sector collaboration to create healthy neighborhoods and communities. He is passionate about culturally responsive and patient-centered care and improving public sector systems to address the social determinants of health and health equity.

Charles serves as a Los Angeles County Commissioner for the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) and he understands the importance of system integration to achieve better health outcomes. He also serves as a board member of an LGBT community center and was the past co-chair of a homeless youth coalition in Los Angeles.

Charles holds an MBA in healthcare management from Western Governors University and a certificate in nonprofit administration from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Housing, Child Welfare, Healthcare, Substance Use Disorder, Harm Reduction, Mental Health, Probation, Suicide Prevention, HIV Prevention, LGBT Population

Implementation and evaluation of multi-sector collective action framework, stakeholder engagement, focus group facilitation, conducting key stakeholder interviews, designing and deploying surveys, and data collection

Links to HPRI Research

Debra Rog

Debra Rog

Vice President for Social Policy and Economics Research
Westat

DebraRog@westat.com


Dr. Debra Rog, a Westat Vice President and President of its nonprofit affiliate, the Rockville Institute, has over 30 years of experience in research and evaluation involving homelessness. Her current work in homelessness includes serving as the principal investigator of several studies, including an evaluation of a ten year systems initiative in three counties in Washington State for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and an evaluation of HUD’s multisite Youth Homelessness Demonstration Initiative. She recently completed two process evaluations of rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles, a multisite evaluation of supportive housing for families in Washington State, and an examination of the trends in family homelessness in Massachusetts. Prior to joining Westat in 2007, Dr. Rog directed the Washington office of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Evaluation and Program Improvement (CEPI) for 17 years, where she led numerous national multisite evaluations of interventions and systems for homeless and vulnerable populations. Dr. Rog is a well-known and respected methodologist, specializing in mixed methods evaluation, evaluability assessment, and multi-site evaluation. She served as a co-editor of the Sage Publication Series on Applied Social Research Methods, and the Handbook for Social Research Methods. She has published extensively on homelessness, housing, and evaluation methodology. Dr. Rog currently serves on the Research Council of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, is Associate Director and a faculty member of The Evaluators’ Institute, and was the 2009 president of the American Evaluation Association. She has been recognized for her evaluation work by the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Evaluation Association, the Eastern Evaluation Research Society, and the Knowledge Utilization Society. Between 1987 and 1989, she was Associate Director of the Office of Programs for the Homeless Mentally Ill, National Institute of Mental Health.

Links to HPRI Research

Laura Rossbert

Laura Rossbert

COO & Housing Specialist
Shopworks Architecture
laura@shopworksarc.com
 www.linkedin.com/in/rev-laura-ag-rossbert-ba525a3/


Laura joined Shopworks Architecture in 2019 after co-leading the development of Arroyo Village in Denver, which created a new homeless shelter for women and transgender individuals, 35 units of supportive housing, and 95 units of workforce housing using a trauma-informed lens. Laura brings to Shopworks her experiences as a non-profit leader and community organizer/community engagement specialist. She is using her expertise and knowledge in best practices in homelessness and supportive housing to inform building design at Shopworks and find solutions to barriers to affordable housing, with special attention to trauma, resiliency, and equity.

Links to HPRI Research

Janey Rountree

Janey Rountree

Executive Director
California Policy Lab at UCLA

janey@cpl.ucla.edu


Janey Rountree is the founding Executive Director of the California Policy Lab at UCLA. Prior to joining CPL, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and was responsible for developing and implementing the long-term strategic plan for evidence-based public safety policy, police reform, and violence prevention in Chicago. In addition to direct oversight of the Chicago Police Department, Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management, Janey worked on policy issues that touch on violence prevention but fall outside the traditional scope of public safety, including workforce development, homelessness, education, school climate, youth employment, mentoring, and mental health. During her tenure in Chicago, Janey helped to promote evidence-based policy by working closely with researchers to evaluate publicly funded programs and to scale up the ones that were proven effective. Prior to working in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, she was the Firearms Policy Coordinator senior counsel for New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She has practiced law, taught high school, and worked in the non-profit sector. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D./LL.M from Duke Law School.

Specializations:

Public policy, Public safety, Constitutional policing, Violence prevention, Education, Emergency management, Homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Molly Rysman

Molly Rysman

Chief Program Officer
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

mrysman@lahsa.org


As the Chief Program Officer of LAHSA, Molly Rysman works to create systems change and public policy that support solutions to homelessness and expand the supply of affordable housing throughout Los Angeles County. Prior to joining LAHSA, Ms. Rysman served as the Los Angeles Director for CSH, a community development finance institution dedicated to expanding housing solutions to reduce homelessness. As the Director for CSH’s Los Angeles office, Ms. Rysman oversaw all of CSH’s training, lending, technical assistance, and systems change work throughout Los Angeles County. Ms. Rysman also served as the External Affairs Director for the Skid Row Housing Trust, one of the largest permanent supportive housing developers in Los Angeles. She collaborated on efforts to serve the most vulnerable individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in Skid Row, including Project 50, the Skid Row Collaborative, and Downtown Pathway Home. Ms. Rysman has also been a stouthearted advocate for underserved communities in Los Angeles, including serving as a Legislative Deputy for Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, working for the Liberty Hill Foundation, and serving survivors of domestic violence at Haven Hills. Molly earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a proud alumnus of California State University Los Angeles, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

JuHyun Sakota

JuHyun Sakota

Principal
People’s Health Solutions

jsakota@peopleshealthsolutions.com


JuHyun Sakota, MPA, is Principal of People’s Health Solutions (PHS), a consulting team whose mission is to help build healthy and sustainable communities. In this role, she is helping health systems, homeless service providers, foundations, and policy and advocacy organizations have a greater impact through program planning and evaluation, needs assessment and asset mapping, and data visualization and storytelling.

She is an experienced researcher and data visualization designer in area of social justice, with more than a decade of experience in social policy research and quantitative/spatial (GIS) analysis to help data-driven decision-making in public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors. Previously she served as Interim Director of Data Integration and Manager of Data and Research at Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). She oversaw the methodology design, analysis, and compliance sides of the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and provided analysis support for policy decisions at the City and County levels. She holds proven ability to train 500+ individuals on how to leverage data and mapping technology to lift up community voices and influence policy. She has analyzed geographic patterns of California’s three major foundations’ investments of $230M per year to prioritize funding for communities in need.

JuHyun holds a Master of Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin. Her academic work focuses on urban and regional housing policies in geographic contexts. She is a member of American Evaluation Association. She is passionate about communicating complex information in a beautiful and friendly format. Some of her work samples can be found at: juhyunsakota.com/portfolio

Specializations:

Housing and homelessness, community safety, racial and gender equity, and healthcare.

Links to HPRI Research

Sonali Saluja

Sonali Saluja

Medical Director of Population Health
Primary Care Lead Physician for Inland Empire
Healthcare in Action
 ssaluja@healthcareinaction.org


Dr. Sonali Saluja is the Vice President and Medical Director of Population Health at Healthcare in Action, an organization that provides wholistic care –  medical care, social support and housing navigation – to unhoused persons in California. She leads population health, quality improvement and research and evaluation efforts and oversees clinical teams. She is a board-certified internal medicine physician with a background in health services research and medical education. Dr. Saluja previously served as the Director of the Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science and Innovation at USC’s Keck School of Medicine where she was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine. She also worked as an attending physician at Los Angeles General Medical Center. Dr. Saluja attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin and completed her residency at Providence Portland Medical Center. She completed a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and concurrently received her master’s in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Specializations:

Access to healthcare, Social/structural determinants of health, Health disparities, Street medicine, Mobile medicine, Income inequality, Healthcare fragmentation

Research Strengths:

Survey design and implementation, Mixed methods research, Difference in difference analysis

 

Links to HPRI Research

Robert Santillano

Robert Santillano

Research Director 
California Policy Lab, UCLA

rsantillano@ucla.edu


Robert is a policy scholar with a passion to improve social services using actionable research. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Mathematics from Pomona College.

While his research interests broadly include any area involving low-income families, he has done most of his topical research on employment-training services, choice in public education, and the impact of restrictive immigration policies. He is especially interested in researching how performance measurement systems and incentives for service providers can be used to encourage continuous improvement with service provision. His research has been published in the Journal of Human Resources, Evaluation Review, Industrial Relations, among others.

Specializations:

Education, homelessness, labor 

Research Strengths:

Causal inference 

Links to HPRI Research

Greg Schuelke

Greg Schuelke

Program Officer, Supportive Housing
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.


gschuelke@enterprisecommunity.org
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-schuelke-11554322


Greg Schuelke has over 12 years of experience working throughout homeless response systems, most recently as a clinician at new permanent supportive housing sites in Long Beach, CA serving the re-entry and chronically homeless populations. He has previously served in federal and state government roles, including as a Special Advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in the Obama Administration and Senior Homelessness Specialist in the Newsom Administration. He currently focuses preservation and utilization of permanent supportive housing in the Southern California market.

Specializations:

Permanent Supportive Housing, Coordinated Entry System, Trauma-informed Care, Housing Development, Clinical Social Work, Assertive Community Treatment, Harm Reduction, Re-entry, Veteran Homelessness, Government Affairs

Research Strengths:

Led Point-in-Time Demographic Survey teams in 2017 & 2018 conducted by USC (interviewing, data collection, qualitative data synthesis)

Suzette Shaw

Suzette Shaw

Mental Health Peer Advocate, MHA
California Black Women’s Health Advocate
  suzetteshaw2010@yahoo.com


Suzette Shaw is the National Alliance to End Homelessness Representative for Los Angeles and the vice-chair of the Continuum of Care Board where HUD dollars come into Los Angeles. She was appointed to the LA County Racial Equity Steering Committee, post the sunset of the LA County Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness. She was a part of the body that designed the (67) recommendations that are now being used as a national model through the publication we designed of the same name. In addition, the University of Southern California (USC ) Homeless Policy Research Institute (HPRI) tapped her as their next national committee co-chair. Lastly, she is the first fourth-term United States of Women Ambassador (USOW) and was former Senator Holly J. Mitchell’s 2020 choice for “woman of the year”. This was her last year holding her state office before being elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors. And as a poetess, she uses spoken word to story tell, thus, amplifying chronic and systemic inequality while calling action for change(s) .

Links to HPRI Research

Amy Shearer

Amy Shearer

Associate Behavioral/Social Scientist
RAND Corporation


Amy Shearer is an Associate Behavioral/Social Scientist at RAND Corporation. Her research interests are at the intersection of mental health, housing, and community predictors of health-related attitudes and behaviors. Her graduate work explored community perceptions of psychiatric supportive housing (NIMBYism), and has helped inform housing developments in Oregon. Other research has investigated neighborhood-level predictors of residential satisfaction for individuals living in permanent supportive housing. She is experienced in interviewing and conducting focus groups with adults with serious mental illness engaged in housing and support services, and has led an evaluation of a wellness program for supportive housing clients.

Her methodological expertise is in process and outcome evaluations for mental health programs. She recently designed outcome measures for county-wide prevention mental health programs, and co-authored a RAND handbook on evaluation approaches for mental health prevention and early intervention programs. Her recent work is focused on improving the capacity of organizations to implement and evaluate community violence prevention and resilience promotion programs using RAND’s Getting To Outcomes framework. Amy received her PhD in Applied Social and Community Psychology from Portland State University, and her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.

Specializations:

Mental health, Community health indicators, Permanent supportive housing, Psychiatric housing, Homelessness, NIMBYism, Health outcomes research

Place-based research, Program evaluation, Focus group methods, Survey methods, Quantitative analysis, Qualitative analysis

Mark Silverbush

Mark Silverbush

Associate
Abt Associates

mark_silverbush@abtassoc.com


Mark Silverbush is an Associate with Abt Associates. Mark is the technical assistance lead to the Los Angeles Continuum of care on data issues on behalf of HUD and has over ten years of experience in the homelessness sector providing project management, planning, research, data analysis, and technical assistance support to communities. Nationally, Mark is known for his expertise on system modeling, data dashboards, homeless counts, HMIS, and as the lead author of VA’s Supportive Services for Veterans Families annual report.

At the City University of New York’s Baruch College, Mark earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has lived in Los Angeles for the past 11 years and is a volunteer co-chair of the South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness.
Specializations:
Chronic and Veteran Homelessness, Training, Program Management, Strategic Partnerships, Community Outreach, Government, Non-profits

Data Dashboards, Geographic Information Systems, Homeless System Modeling, Program Design & Evaluation, Data Collection Systems, Quantitative Analysis

Links to HPRI Research

Ryan J. Smith

Ryan J. Smith

President and CEO
St. Joseph Center

rsmith@stjosephctr.org


Dr. Ryan J. Smith is a dynamic leader in the social and non-profit sector, boasting two decades of experience in non-profit management. His expertise lies in developing transformative programs and building teams for the youth, families, and communities of Los Angeles. 

Currently serving as an Affordable Housing Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, Dr. Smith brings a wealth of experience to his role. Before joining St. Joseph Center, he served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Community Coalition—an organization founded thirty years ago by Mayor Karen Bass to transform the social and economic conditions of residents in South Los Angeles. Dr. Smith supported the organization’s strategy and power-building efforts. He managed the successful Make LA Whole anti-poverty campaign, securing over $200 million in city funds for high-need communities. 

Before his tenure at Community Coalition, Dr. Smith served as Interim CEO and Chief External Officer for LA Unified’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. The Partnership supports 15,000 students and families in Watts, Boyle Heights, and South LA. In this role, Dr. Smith provided instrumental support in the development, communications, policy and advocacy, and family and community engagement programs. Before these roles, Dr. Smith served as the Executive Director of The Education Trust-West and Vice President of Strategic Advocacy for the Education Trust—a national education civil rights organization committed to closing opportunity gaps. 

Dr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctorate of Education from UCLA. He is a recipient of the National Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellowship and the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. A native Angeleno, Dr. Smith founded the Love Letter LA Project, which is dedicated to uplifting and embracing the assets of marginalized communities across Los Angeles. His commitment to community engagement is underscored by his recent receipt of the first-ever UCLA Excellence in Civic Engagement Award.

Toni Sparrow

Toni Sparrow

Senior Program Associate II 
Advocates for Human Potential (AHP)

Toni.Sparrow95@gmail.com
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/toni-sparrow-b804742a2/


Toni Sparrow is a seasoned professional in the homeless field, with a strong background in program development, advocacy, and policy. Toni’s work focuses on creating innovative solutions to homelessness, with a particular emphasis on affordable housing and supportive services. Toni has worked with various organizations and government agencies to implement effective strategies that address the root causes of homelessness and provide long-term stability for individuals and families. Toni specializes in affordable housing policy, homeless analytics, and grant writing.

Toni is currently a Senior Program Associate II at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), where she focuses on the California Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) program. Concurrently, Toni is pursuing a doctoral degree in Public Administration at California Baptist University. Her work centers on developing and implementing innovative solutions to address homelessness and improve behavioral health outcomes.

Specializations:

Homeless Management Information System

Research Strengths:

Conducting interviews, focus groups, and case studies to gather in-depth insights into homelessness and related issues along with homeless statistical modeling and analysis

James Sullivan

James Sullivan

Co-Founder; Professor
Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities; University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics

james.x.sullivan.197@nd.educ


James Sullivan is a Professor of Economics and Gilbert F. Schaefer College Chair at the University of Notre Dame. He has been a visiting scholar at the National Poverty Center and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago. He was recently appointed to the U.S. Commission on Social Impact Partnerships and he serves on the National Poverty Center Advisory Board. His research examines the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs at the national, state, and local level. He also studies the consumption, saving, and borrowing behavior of poor households, as well as poverty and inequality measurement. Sullivan has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, many of which appear in the top economics journals. His work has been covered by major media outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, Forbes, Fox News, Barron’s, Bloomberg News, Slate, the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall St. Journal, the Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, and others. In 2015 he testified at a hearing on evidence-based policy for the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2012, with fellow Notre Dame Professor William Evans, Professor Sullivan founded the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO). LEO is a research center that works with service providers and policymakers to identify effective and scalable solutions to reduce poverty in America. Sullivan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Specializations:

Borrowing behavior of poor households, consumption, inequality, poverty, saving, welfare, tax policy

Randomized control trials, quasi-experimental evaluations of domestic anti-poverty programs

Patricia St. Clair

Patricia St. Clair

Director of Data Core
USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics

pstclair@usc.edu


Patricia St. Clair is director of the Data Core at the USC Schaeffer Center. The Data Core provides support for the center’s analytic computing and data resources that are key to its research. The Data Core team includes research programmers, a statistician and an information scientist who provide technical help and training to center students, postdocs, staff, faculty and collaborators; directly support specific research projects; and manage the center’s data infrastructure.

St. Clair has experience with a wide variety of data used in research including longitudinal surveys, Census data and claims data. Prior to joining the Schaeffer Center, she supported research projects on health, education and aging at RAND for nearly 20 years. She earned her ScB in Computer Science from Brown University and has studied neurobehavioral genetics, focusing on circadian rhythms and sleep, in the Inter-departmental Program in Neuroscience at UCLA.

Specializations:

Education, Health, Neurobehavioral Genetics, Homelessness

Census Data, Longitudinal Surveys, Data Infrastructure

Links to HPRI Research

Max Stevens

Max Stevens

Director of Research and Evaluation
Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office

mstevens@ceo.lacounty.gov


Max Stevens earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at UCLA in 2000, with a specializations in Political Economy, Poverty and Inequality in the United States, and Economic Development and Under Development. He became a Los Angeles County employee in 2001 when he was hired as an analyst for purposes of examining the impact of welfare reform on families and children in the United States. In 2005, Dr. Stevens expanded his research into areas such as homelessness, justice reform, and the long-term impacts of involvement in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice systems. In 2013, he officially became the director of the Chief Executive Office’s Research and Evaluation Services unit and continues to hold that position today.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Justice systems and Justice reform, Poverty and welfare policy, Fiscal analysis and forecasting, Foster Care and Juvenile Justice, Legislative Analysis

Statistics and quantitative modeling; Participant Observation; Cost avoidance, cost savings and return on investment analyses; Focus Groups

Links to HPRI Research

Emmy Tiderington

Emmy Tiderington

Assistant Professor
Rutgers University School of Social Work

emmy.tiderington@rutgers.edu


Emmy Tiderington, PhD, LMSW, is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Associate Faculty at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers. Prior to this appointment, she served as a clinical supervisor and social worker working in housing and case management programs for individuals with serious mental illness and other complex needs.

Dr. Tiderington’s areas of expertise in homeless services research include the implementation and effectiveness of permanent supportive housing, Housing First and Moving On initiative service models, best practices for facilitating transitions out of homeless services, and mental health and substance abuse recovery in homeless populations. Her research has been funded by Federal, State, local, and private funders, including the National Institute of Mental Health, the State of New Jersey, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

She is the recipient of the Robert Moore Award for Excellence in Scholarship from New York University, an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation of the Year Honorable Mention from the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and both a New Investigator Award and a F31 National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Specializations:

Homelessness, mental health and substance abuse recovery, homeless services research

Qualitative and mixed methods

Links to HPRI Research

Halil Toros

Halil Toros

Statistical Analytics Consultant
Economic Roundtable

haliltoros@yahoo.com


Halil has collaborated with the Economic Roundtable for over 10 years, principally involved in homeless cost avoidance and studies with data linkages. He is a Senior Analytical Consultant at the SAS Institute. In the past, he taught Econometrics, Statistics and Program Evaluation while an Adjunct Professor at USC. He also formerly worked for the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, Services Integration Branch on program evaluation projects, and holds Ph.D. in Political Economy & Public Policy from USC.

Specializations:

Homelessness, public policy, cost avoidance

Econometrics, Program evaluation

Links to HPRI Research

Marc Tousignant

Marc Tousignant

Senior Program Director
Enterprise Community Partners

mtousignant@enterprisecommunity.org


Marc directs Enterprise’s local work on homelessness and supportive housing. He is currently managing a permanent supportive housing preservation initiative and systems change efforts to strengthen the permanent housing component of the Coordinated Entry System. He joined Enterprise in 2007, when he was responsible for managing technical assistance assignments contracted through the HUD Los Angeles Field office, which included the federal HOME and Continuum of Care programs.

Prior to Enterprise, he served as Senior Program Manager at Shelter Partnership, Inc., serving as the lead technical assistance provider for the Los Angeles HOPWA program, in addition to managing other strategic and systems planning efforts during that time relative to special needs housing initiatives in Los Angeles County. Marc started in the housing and community development field as an AmeriCorps intern at Resources for Community Development, an affordable housing development organization in Berkeley, CA. He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan.

Specializations:

Permanent supportive housing, homelessness policy, and resident services

Jack Tsai

Jack Tsai

Campus Dean and Professor of Public Health
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Jack.Tsai@uth.tmc.edu

 @Jtsailab 


Jack Tsai, Ph.D. is the San Antonio Campus Dean and Professor of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He also serves as Research Director for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans. Dr. Tsai formerly served as faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine for a decade and has an adjunct appointment there now. Dr. Tsai has received federally funded grants and published nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles on topics related to homelessness, severe mental illness, trauma, and health disparities. He has served as a grant reviewer for the VA, PCORI, Social Security Administration, and several foundations. He holds leadership positions in the American Psychological Association and the American Public Health Association, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Severe Mental Illness, Trauma, Health Disparities

Multivariable Analyses; Mixed Linear Models; Factor Analysis; Latent Class Analysis; Grounded theory qualitative methods

Links to HPRI Research

Alex Visotzky

Alex Visotzky

Senior California Policy Fellow
National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH)


Alex Visotzky is the Senior California Policy Fellow for the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), where he works to ground California’s response to homelessness in best practices and evidenced-based solutions. Prior to joining NAEH, Alex worked for five years in local government, where he served most recently as the Director of Government Affairs for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the lead administrative entity for the Los Angeles Continuum of Care (LA CoC). There, he directed LAHSA’s legislative, policy, and community engagement work. Prior to joining LAHSA, Alex worked for Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, where he advocated for local and state policies to advance equitable land use, affordable housing, and affordable homeownership. He has a BA from Oberlin College and an MPP from the Price School of Public Policy at the University Southern California.

Links to HPRI Research

Till Von Wachter

Till Von Wachter

Faculty Director; Professor; Director
California Policy Lab at UCLA; UCLA Department of Economics; Federal Statistical Research Center

tvwachter@econ.ucla.edu


Till von Wachter is Professor of Economics at the University of California Los Angeles, Faculty Director of the California Policy Lab, Director of the Federal Statistical Research Data Center, and Associate Dean for Research for the Social Science Division. Prof. von Wachter’s research examines how labor market conditions and institutions affect the wellbeing of workers and their families. This includes the analysis of unemployment and job loss on workers long-term outcomes, as well as the role of unemployment insurance and disability insurance in buffering such shocks.

Current research projects focus on job and earnings mobility of young workers over their careers, as well as the several projects on homelessness using administrative data from Los Angeles. Professor von Wachter’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute for Aging, the Social Security Administration, the Sloan Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Prof. von Wachter has been expert witness in numerous testimonies before congressional committees, and has provided expert assistance to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Canadian Labor Ministry, the OECD, the United Nations, and the IMF.

Specializations:

Labor & Employment, Aging, Macroeconomics, Homelessness, Applied Microeconomics

Econometrics, Administrative Data, Data Infrastructure

Links to HPRI Research

Clara Wagner

Clara Wagner

Senior Study Director: Social Policy and Economics
Westat

ClaraWagner@westat.com


Clara Wagner, PhD is Senior Study Director in the Social Policy and Economics Research Area at Westat, where she designs and implements mixed methods evaluations of programs and initiatives to address the housing, health, and social service needs of vulnerable populations. She recently directed two mixed-methods evaluations of the implementation and outcomes of Los Angeles County’s strategies to expand and enhance services provided through rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing. Currently, Dr. Wagner serves as the lead analyst for a longitudinal evaluation of the homeless families’ service delivery systems in three counties in Washington State and acts as a site lead for a multi-site evaluation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project and an evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Initiative. She brings to this work 15 years of experience in research and evaluation design and implementation, including the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data (including longitudinal and large administrative datasets), as well as in-depth knowledge on homeless service delivery systems, social determinants of health, mental health services, behavioral health care access, and trauma-informed practices. Prior to joining Westat in 2016, Dr. Wagner completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health services research from the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, where she examined access to and engagement in behavioral health care among veterans and the health care needs of women veterans experiencing intimate partner violence. Dr. Wagner received a BA in psychology from McGill University, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Temple University, where her doctoral research focused on the emergence of mood disorders in adolescence and young adulthood.

Specializations:

Program, policies, and systems initiatives to meet the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations, homelessness and housing, social determinants of health, mental Health.

Expertise in the use of mixed methods research and evaluation, including: study design; the development of data collection instruments; collection and analysis of qualitative focus group and interview data; and quantitative data analysis, including analysis of longitudinal and large administrative datasets using a range of multivariate analytic techniques, such as time series analysis, cluster analysis, survival analysis, and nested models. 

Links to HPRI Research

Suzanne Wagner

Suzanne Wagner

Principal and Founder
Housing Innovations

swagner@housinginnovations.us


Suzanne Wagner is a Principal and founder at Housing Innovations (HI), a consulting group that assists organizations to develop and implement effective solutions to homelessness. Suzanne has provided training and consultation to hundreds of nonprofit and public agencies throughout the country to expand their capacity to provide effective services and implement evidence-based practices (EBP’s) that are proven to end homelessness. She has worked with numerous organizations to implement and evaluate Critical Time Intervention (CTI), Housing First, Moving On from Supportive Housing (MOSH) and other EBP’s. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Center for the Advancement of CTI at the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter. Suzanne has over 30 years of experience in the design and delivery of housing programs and services for homeless people, ranging from adolescents and families to single adults with complex needs. She holds a Master Degree in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor Degree from Barnard College.

Specializations:

Homeless single adults, homeless youth, evidence-based housing and service models, coordinated entry systems, program development and evaluation, Housing First, Critical Time Intervention, homeless systems design and planning.

Jason Ward

Jason Ward

Associate Economist
RAND Corporation

jward@rand.org


Jason Ward is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. His work uses the tools of applied microeconomics to study housing, labor markets, education, health, and links between these domains. His research has assessed the effect of four-day school weeks on parental employment, the effect of parental involvement laws on abortions to minors, the effects of performance-based state higher education funding systems on student outcomes, the nature of geographic variation in health care utilization, and the association between education and health over the life course. Current projects include developing tools to measure the gap between the earnings of military service members and their potential earnings in the civilian labor market, assessing changes in veterans labor market and health outcomes over time, estimating the willingness to pay (in home price) for multiple measures of elementary school quality in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and estimating the association between unemployment and substance use/abuse using seasonal variation in employment across occupations and industries.

Specializations:

Children, Families, and Communities; Cost-Effectiveness in Health Care; Demographics; Education Policy; Households; Labor Markets; Veterans Employment

Links to HPRI Research

Christopher Weare

Christopher Weare

Lecturer
Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
weare@berkeley.edu


Christopher Weare has been engaged in policy research for over 25 years. Most recently his research focused on the adoption and use of performance management reforms in public organizations where he completed a 3-year evaluation of Mayor Garcetti’s Back-to-Basics initiative.

During that time, he moved to the non-profit sector to lead the data analytics and research efforts of a Californian Continuum of Care. In that role, he directed the development of a wide array of analyses and reports. This work included the creation of dashboards to communicate the state of homelessness and of efforts to address homelessness to the general public and analytic dashboards designed to inform decision makers on program effectiveness and to quickly identify performance shortfalls in the system.

One major project during his tenure focused on the effectiveness of Rapid Rehousing programs (RRH). In this CoC, the percentage of RRH clients that successfully moved into permanent housing placements decreased dramatically over the last four years. The main source of these difficulties appears to be the increasingly tight housing market which makes it ever more difficult to find landlords interested in accepting RRH vouchers. Nevertheless, the research identified some providers that were able to maintain their levels of success, suggesting that proactive policies can mitigate issues that arise due to the tightening housing market.

Specializations:

  • System level analysis of homeless crisis systems based on HMIS data
  • Performance management and statistical analysis of program effectiveness
  • Program evaluation
  • Client segmentation of the homeless population and analysis of client needs

Links to HPRI Research

Suzanne Wenzel

Suzanne Wenzel

Interim Dean; Richard and Ann Thor Professor in Urban Social Development
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

swenzel@usc.edu


Suzanne Wenzel has devoted much of her career to interdisciplinary research that seeks to understand and address health-related needs of vulnerable populations, particularly individuals experiencing homelessness in urban communities.

Wenzel has served as the principal investigator on nine grants from the National Institutes of Health. Funding for these projects from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has totaled almost $12 million. Her research involving homeless persons has included an investigation of the relationship of trauma to substance use and HIV/AIDS risk among women; examinations of the social context of risk for substance use and HIV/AIDS among women, men and youth; and adaption of evidence-based programs to address post-traumatic stress and to prevent victimization and risky sexual activity among women. She is also investigating the process and outcomes of transitioning to permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing chronic homelessness and organized a Los Angeles County-wide forum on the topic of integrated care and housing for homeless persons. Wenzel has additionally focused her research on substance abuse treatment quality and continuous quality improvement, and organizational linkages among treatment courts for drug-involved offenders and community-based providers of behavioral health services.

After completing her doctoral studies in community psychology, Wenzel was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellowship in the Rutgers/Princeton program in mental health research. Prior to her appointment at the USC School of Work in 2009, she was a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., and was responsible for research quality assurance in the RAND Health program.

Wenzel serves as the director of the School of Social Work research cluster on Homelessness, Housing and Social Environment. She is an elected fellow in the Association for Psychological Science and a fellow in the Western Psychological Association. Wenzel is a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Psychological Association, the Society for Community Research and Action, and the Society for Social Work and Research. She has published 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, has performed peer review services for 35 different scholarly journals, and has served on review panels for the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies. She is also a member of several community advisory boards.

Links to HPRI Research

John Wieselthier

John Wieselthier

PHD Candidate
UC Berkeley

johnwieselthier@berkeley.edu


John Wieselthier is a PhD Candidate in Economics at UC Berkeley specializing in Labor and Econometrics. Within Labor, he primarily focuses on crime and homelessness policy. His current work is looking at the fiscal externalities associated with homelessness, as well as estimating changes in benefits and these externalities in response to changes in homelessness status. John holds a BA in Economics and Mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Specializations:

Homelessness, Crime, Legal Financial Obligations, Public Policy, Identification in Networks

Research Strengths:

Econometric methods

Brenda Wiewel

Brenda Wiewel

Resource Faculty, USC Keck School of Medicine
Consultant, Brenda Wiewel Consulting
 frankens@usc.edu
 @bwfranken  
  www.linkedin.com/brenda-wiewel-dsw 
 @bwiewel


Brenda Wiewel, DSW, LCSW, is currently engaged in multiple community projects. These include consulting with community organizations to develop new and expanded programs, teaching at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and consulting. She enjoys the opportunity to work with USC social work and public health masters students on clinical training, self care, and burnout prevention. She formed and directed the University of Southern California’s Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness from 2016-2021. There, she led efforts to design, support, and implement new student resources to reduce food and housing insecurity. She has also organized major conferences and other convenings, coordinated a range of new learning opportunities for students, and supported multiple research efforts to meet community needs. Previously, she managed and developed a range of behavioral health services and has published on the topic of traumatic stress. Ms. Wiewel received her Doctorate and Masters Degrees in Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Specializations:

Homelessness and trauma, Homelessness prevention for adult women, Campus homelessness

Links to HPRI Research

Jennifer Wilson

Jennifer Wilson

Director of Research and Impact
Shopworks Architecture

 jennifer@shopworksarc.com
www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-hope-wilson/


Jennifer Wilson is the Director of Research and Impact at Shopworks Architecture, a Denver-based architecture firm that specializes in supportive and affordable housing and shelters for unhoused individuals. As a social worker, Jennifer began her career in direct practice and program management in shelter, school, and social service settings, working with adults, youth, and families navigating complex systems. Troubling trends in homelessness and housing, locally and nationally, led her to pursue a PhD in Social Work where her research, training, and teaching agenda focused on social innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and human-centered design to promote equity, dignity, and community voice. Jennifer’s recent research has focused on tiny home villages addressing homelessness, unconditional cash for unhoused individuals, safe parking for vehicular sheltering, artificial intelligence in housing allocation, and hackathons for generating novel responses to wicked social issues. Her current research focuses on trauma-informed housing and the potential of the built environment to promote health and healing for underserved and historically marginalized communities. Jennifer holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as an MBA and PhD in Social Work from the University of Denver.

Links to HPRI Research

Cheryl Winter

Cheryl Winter

Senior Program Manager
Corporation for Supportive Housing
  cheryl.winter@csh.org


Cheryl Winter brings to her work a deep knowledge of supportive housing and healthcare integration with significant experience in cross sector partnerships, Medicaid benefit design and implementation and provider capacity building. Cheryl’s work in California focuses on the integration of supportive housing services with healthcare systems, promoting racial equity and lived expertise in supportive housing quality improvement efforts, and Medi-Cal policy analysis and implementation. Prior to joining CSH L.A., Cheryl served as a CSH consultant for five years providing technical assistance to communities working to expand access and ensure fidelity to quality supportive housing. Her work focused on healthcare partnerships, systems analyses and innovative service funding opportunities that grow the pipeline of supportive and affordable housing projects, develop cross-system efficiencies, and enable providers to gain the tools they need to deliver quality supportive housing services. As the Associate Director of Consulting, Cheryl oversaw the CSH Quality Certification Program that evaluates and certifies high performing quality supportive housing projects across the United States. Cheryl also served as lead designer and instructor for CSH Medicaid Academies for supportive housing and homeless service providers becoming Medicaid providers. She also worked with states completing Supportive Housing Services Medicaid Crosswalks and data analyses targeting high utilizers of crisis health systems. Prior to joining CSH, Cheryl worked as the Director of Integrated Health for Pathways to Housing DC, where she managed programming that integrated supportive housing, primary care, and behavioral health services. Cheryl also served as the Director of Quality Improvement, overseeing Medicaid quality assurance, claims submissions, staff training, and quality improvement initiatives. As a Health Policy Fellow at the Missouri Foundation for Health, Cheryl focused her research on health equity and the social determinants of health. Cheryl is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and holds Master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Links to HPRI Research

Angela Zhou

Angela Zhou

Assistant Professor
University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

zhoua@usc.edu
 Angela Zhou


Angela Zhou is an assistant professor at USC Marshall Data Sciences and Operations. She works on applications-motivated methodology in statistical machine learning, operations management, and causal inference, including on algorithmic fairness. Her applied work has developed robust disparity measurement for algorithmic fairness in the provision of algorithmically-mediated social services.

Specializations:

Risk assessment tools, Algorithmic decision support, Operations management, Measurement of racial disparities, Inequity 

Research Strengths:

Statistics, Optimization modeling (eg of service systems), Program evaluation in causal inference, Machine learning

Interested in integrating quantitative methods with quantitative analysis of qualitative data (i.e. augmenting quantitative methods with text as data, etc)

Sarah Zollweg

Sarah Zollweg

Postdoctoral Fellow
National Clinician Scholars Program, UCLA

szollweg@mednet.ucla.edu
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahzollweg/


Sarah Zollweg, PhD, RN, is a first-year scholar in the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA. Her dissertation focused on the influence of structural stigma (i.e., hostile LGBTQ+ policy environment) on alcohol use among sexual minoritized (e.g., lesbian, bisexual) women. She is interested in the intersections of poverty, homelessness, and substance use. Her current research focuses on the influence of anti-poverty, social safety net, and harm reduction policies on substance use-related outcomes and inequities. In addition, she is interested in poverty and homelessness among LGBTQ+ people and in rural areas. Dr. Zollweg received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Nursing from Columbia University.

Specializations:

Substance use, LGBTQ+ health, Rural health, Anti-poverty policies, Social safety net, Harm reduction

HPRI is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Additional HPRI sponsors: The Kautz Family Foundation and the Michael and Irene Ross Endowment at the Jewish Community Foundation