The Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative serves as a nexus for researchers and practitioners to exchange discoveries, experiences, and ideas. By connecting the efforts of faculty from across disciplines and campuses, the Initiative serves to amplify research findings and translate them to a broader community of state and local governments, nonprofit providers, philanthropies, and others dedicated to improving the lives of those experiencing homelessness. The Homelessness Research Initiative unites faculty efforts from across the University of Washington to address homelessness through a research lens.
Faculty Chair: Rachel Fyall, Assistant Professor, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
Program Coordinator: Jean Ni, MLA Candidate, Landscape Architecture
Less than a year since our first gathering of interested faculty members, three new cross-disciplinary projects are underway. With support from the Washington State Legislature, the Doorway Project is piloting an innovative service model for local youth experiencing homelessness. The faculty engaged with the Critical Narratives of Homelessness are exploring mechanisms to inspire more thoughtful public discourse around homelessness. Together with a team of faculty and partnerships across the UW administration, we are working to gather actionable data about the housing and food vulnerabilities of our own student body.
Understanding Housing and Food Insecurity among University of Washington Students
This survey project investigates the prevalence and characteristics of University of Washington-Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell students experiencing housingandfoodinsecurity. Theresearchwillexaminethediversepopulationsthatmaybeartheburdenoftheseinequities, andwillpavethewayforsubsequentqualitativeanalysisofstudents’ livedexperiences. ThebaselinedataaswellasperspectivesfromstudentsandserviceproviderswillinformfutureinterventionsfortheUWtoaddressthispopulationhealthchallengeeffectively.
The faculty and staff team is currently developing curriculum elements that will challenge dominant negative cultural narratives through education, engagement with local organizations, and advancement of student capacities for social change.Throughthiscurriculum, facultymembersaimtostructureaplace-basedandcommunityengagedprocessthat could resultinapublicdeliverablecreatedbythestudentsandtheircollaborators. Inchangingindividualperceptionofnarrativesofhomelessness, thecourseworkcanprovideanopportunityforstudentstobecomecatalystsofthinkingforabroaderaudience.
Understandculturalstereotypes and political discourses aroundclassandhomelessness
The project is part of a broader initiative which will work to address youth homelessness in the University district, and includes collaboration with the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center to build upon the services of current local providers in an iterative and community-engaged manner. Learn more about the Doorway Project.