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Our opening session for the spring 2019 series approaches the intractable problem of HOMELESSNESS. Experts from Social Work and Public Policy, together with our polymathic student community, will tackle this issue from every possible angle.
Nicole Esparza, Associate Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy
Benjamin Henwood, Associate Professor of Social Work, Dept. of Adult Mental Health and Wellness
Dr. Benjamin Henwood
Dr. Henwood is a licensed clinical social worker who has served as an administrator, clinician and researcher for organizations serving adults experiencing homelessness and serious health conditions, including mental illness, physical disease and addiction. He helped start and served as the clinical director for Pathways to Housing, Inc., a Housing First agency in Philadelphia, where he also served as the principal investigator of clinical research that sought to develop more effective models of integrating primary and behavioral health care. Dr. Henwood received a dissertation-training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and is a co-investigator of the five-year, NIMH-funded New York Recovery Study of homeless adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse. He is also the lead evaluator of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant to expand Housing First services in the state of Vermont. As an associate professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Dr. Henwood has continued his ongoing research agenda on the complex service environment for individuals with serious mental illnesses who have experienced homelessness. He is currently involved in the evaluation of Los Angeles County’s integrated physical and behavioral health care initiative, where his task is to develop a measure of integration that can be used across diverse organizational settings.
Dr. Nicole Esparza
Nicole Esparza, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She teaches courses on public policy and management and program evaluation. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Before arriving at USC, Esparza spent two years as the Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University. She is also an Associate Scholar at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review and has received support from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Esparza’s past research examined homeless assistance nonprofits in twenty-six metropolitan areas with a special focus on organizational networks in Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Her current research asks two major questions: How do social, economic, and political forces shape the size and growth of the urban nonprofit sector? How do interorganizational dynamics influence the effectiveness and distribution of services?