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 Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico

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

Members of the REACH lab published a paper in Substance Use and Misuse in November titled "Injection Partners, HCV, and

Injection drug users are at exceedingly heightened risk for contracting infectious diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV, and risk behaviors

REACH graduate research assistant Ian Duncan presented at the annual American Society of Criminology conference in November. Duncan's presentation titled

Ongoing results of studies concerning the United States War on Drugs uncover how policies have raised the incarceration rates of

While injection drug use poses a large risk for the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and HCV, people who

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).