HERE Center

The Equitable Housing Research Project

The Equitable Housing Research Project is a community-partnered research collaboration between the HERE Center’s Critical Analytics for the Social Science of Inequitable Ecosystems (CASSIE) Labs, a critical social research laboratory, and Los Angeles Family Housing (LAFH), a non-profit organization that offers housing and other supportive services for people experiencing houselessness.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that 17 out of 10,000 people in the United States were experiencing houselessness. Locally, a Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority report estimated that nearly 83,000 Angelenos fell into homelessness in 2019. Among this population, 24% have substance abuse disorders and 22% suffer from serious mental illness. While other regions within Los Angeles County carry the brunt of homeless living, the San Fernando Valley accounts for 14%. In fact, community health needs assessments conducted by Dignity Health and the Kaiser Foundation have identified houselessness and affordable housing as primary health issues for Valley residents.

The Equitable Housing Research Project examines the effectiveness of housing and supportive services through the implementation of rigorous critical social scientific research. The project is guided by a set of basic but important questions. What clients are succeeding in the LAFH program? Who is not experiencing success? And why? The project also examines trauma- and stigma-related factors associated with houselessness. Collectively, these efforts provide LAFH the scientific and data-driven approach needed to address the issue of houselessness, allowing LAFH and the HERE Center to achieve their shared missions.



Town Hall Event

The Impact of Houselessness on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of the Community

A town hall centered on the conversation that gives the opportunity to humanize the reality of houseless in the San Fernando Valley.

Panelists: Dr. Jose H. Vargas from the HERE Center, Angel Quintanilla from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and Marco Santana from LA Family Housing 

December 8, 2021
5:00PM - 6:30PM PST

**Hosted by Visión y Compromiso in collaboration with the Health Equity Research and Education (HERE) Center



  • Martha Macias, LAFH (Director of Compliance and Data)
  • Kris Freed, LAFH (Chief Program Officer)
  • Kimberly Roberts, LAFH (Deputy Chief Programs Officer)


CSU Northridge

  • Jose H. Vargas, HERE Center (Methodologist), CASSIE Labs (Director)
  • J. Zak Peet, CASSIE Labs (Project Lead)
  • Judith Lin, CASSIE Labs (Research Assistant)
  • Joseluz Sosa, CASSIE Labs (Research Assistant)
  • Carrie Saetermoe, HERE Center
here center logoLA family housing logo

Student Opportunities

  • Graduate and undergraduate students who are skilled in intermediate statistical and qualitative data analysis.
  • Students interested in using psychological science to address issues of houselessness in the San Fernando Valley.

Faculty Opportunities

  • Faculty who are conducting research on houselessness and houseless populations.
  • Faculty who are collecting and/or analyzing quantitative and qualitative data related to houselessness in the San Fernando Valley.

Community Partner Opportunities

  • Community activists and organizations are encouraged to provide additional information about houselessness in the San Fernando Valley.

For more information, please email Dr. Jose H. Vargas, CASSIE Labs Director.