HomeOur Focus AreasHard-to-Reach Populations & Homelessness

Hard-to-Reach Populations & Homelessness


We work with a range of communities and populations that, for any number of reasons, remain difficult to study with conventional social science methods.

In some cases, this is because they lack fixed addresses or locations, such as when we work with homeless and unstably housed women or adolescents. In other cases, it is because the population is stigmatized and members remain wary of outsides, such as injecting drug users or underage sex workers. The REACH team has adopted and developed a number of methods to work with these groups, making our team one of the few social science research labs with expertise in this area.

Recent Blog Posts for Hard to Reach Populations & Homelessness

REACH Lab Publishes First Policy Brief "Investing in the Safety and Health of Nebraska Communities Through the Authorization and Implementation

REACH researcher Roberto Abadie recently led a new publication on establishing trust among people who inject drugs when researching HIV

Memory Manda came to the University of Nebraska in January 2018 as a recipient of the National Institute of Health

Gladys Godinez, a participant in the Minority Health Disparities Initiative's  Health Voice Vision project, was recently interviewed by Chuck Schroeder, the Directer of

The REACH lab's Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI) project has partnered with other community organizations on an exhibit at the Nebraska

REACH researchers Roberto Abadie, Bilal Khan, and Kirk Dombrowski recently contributed to a paper published in the December issue of Drug

Funded Projects:

Funded projects focused specifically on hidden and hard to reach populations include “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City” (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs NIJ 2009-MC-CX-0001), performed in collaboration with the John Jay Social Networks Research Group and the New York Center for Court innovation. We also worked with John Jay researchers Ric Curtis and Travis Wendel on the “Retail Methamphetamine Markets in New York City” (NIJ 2007-IJ-CX-0110 / NIH R21 DA024357-01).  Other collaborators include Susan Bartles of Harvard University Medical School on the “Investigation on Outcomes of Sexual Violence Related Pregnancies in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo” (Eleanor Miles Shore Foundation and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative). More recently, Dr. Whitbeck was contracted to complete a data collection project on homeless youth across the United States (funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau). Our currently funded projects in this focus area include “Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico (NIH/NIDAR01DA037117).