Homelessness, Crime, and Public Policy

Homelessness, Crime, and Public Policy Symposium
UCR Alumni & Visitors Center

Co-sponsored by the Blum Initiative and Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies

12:00 to 5:00 p.m., UCR Alumni and Visitors Center



Nicole Esparza

is an associate professor and the Director of Graduate Programs in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She studies the policy and management of urban anti-poverty nonprofits with an emphasis on the social networks and collaborations between organizations. Her overarching questions include: how do service networks benefit or constrain nonprofits?; and how can organizational networks be used to improve collective impact? She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University in 2007. Prior to joining the faculty at USC Price in 2009, Professor Esparza was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy at Harvard University. Her research has received support from the National Science Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Professor Esparza teaches courses on research design and program evaluation.


Teresa Gowan

is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches urban sociology, ethnography, and comparative marginality. Her book Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco (2010), winner of the Robert Park and Mary Douglas awards from the American Sociological Association in 2011, draws out multiple lines of connection between a rich description of the different lives pursued by homeless San Franciscans and the seismic shifts in poverty discourse, public culture, spatial control, and US social policy at the turn of the 21st century. Her more recent work extends her research on the contemporary criminalization and medicalization of poverty with a comparative study of addiction interventions by drug courts, mandatory and faith-based treatment facilities, a needle exchange, and local half-way houses.


David J. Harding

is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Living the Drama: Community, Conflict, and Culture among Inner-City Boys(University of Chicago Press, 2010). His current research includes a mixed-method study of prisoner reentry in Michigan focusing on the social, cultural, and economic reintegration of former prisoners as well as studies of the effects of imprisonment on employment, recidivism, and mortality.


Thomas J. Main

is a Professor in the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College, City University of New York. He teaches courses in public affairs, public administration, politics and policy. His work has appeared in journals such as Administration & Society, Public Affairs Quarterly and The Journal of Urban Affairs, and in newspapers including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the New York Daily News. He frequently speaks to national and New York City media about the history and current status of homelessness, social welfare policy, urban politics, public administration, bureaucracy, and the American Constitution and founding, and extremist political ideologies.

He is author of the book, Homelessness in New York City: Policymaking from Koch to de Blasio (, just published by New York University Press, and editor of the anthology, Is the American Constitution Obsolete?( Professor Main is currently writing a book about the rise of the “alt-right” movement in America. His recent Op-Ed article on the “alt-right (,” which appeared in the Los Angeles Times, received national attention. After receiving his BA from the University of Chicago, Professor Main obtained an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a PhD in Politics from Princeton University.


David A. Snow

is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He has authored or co-authored well over 100 articles and chapters on homelessness, social movements, religious conversion, framing processes, identity, and qualitative methods in a range of sociological and social science journals, and 10 books including the award-winning Down on Their Luck: A Study of Homeless Street People (with L. Anderson). Professor Snow has conducted research on homelessness in numerous cities around the country, including, most recently, Orange County, California, as well as in Paris, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo abroad. Professor Snow is past President of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction and the Pacific Sociological Association, and a recent Vice President of the American Sociological Association, and a recipient of the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ Lee Founders Award for career contributions to the study of social problems, the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior, and the George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.


Forrest Stuart

is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Stuart’s research investigates the causes, contours, and consequences of urban poverty in America. His first book, Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row, is a multi-year ethnography of LA’s Skid Row neighborhood, examining the interactions between police officers and the neighborhood’s impoverished and unhoused residents. His current book project explores how digital social media are transforming gangs and gang warfare on Chicago’s south side.

Target Audience
General Public