Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice (HHCJ)
The Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab (HHCJ), a division of the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, conducts research studies that address the complex drivers of health. We focus on the health impacts of homelessness and criminal justice involvement.
We study the overlap of homelessness and criminal justice involvement with chronic physical, mental and substance use conditions and with other systemic barriers to health and wellbeing, like structural racism.
Our overarching goal is to improve health inequities in our community and across the United States through research and collaboration with a broad coalition of partners.
Our lab’s research explores how the social drivers of health interact with combinations of physical, mental, and substance use conditions and the integrated solutions needed to reduce health inequities. Our research methods include clinical trials; cross-sector data linkage studies that combine health care data with social service, housing, and criminal justice data; and community-engaged research projects, in which we work closely with people with lived experience to plan, implement, and disseminate research.
People experiencing unstable housing are at higher risk of many chronic and acute health conditions. Managing these conditions can be particularly difficult without stable housing. Our research strives to support people experiencing homelessness manage their chronic diseases including by helping them to find secure, safe housing.
Individuals involved in the criminal justice system have unique health needs while incarcerated, on community supervision, and after release. Similar to people experiencing homelessness, they are at increased risk of physical, mental, and substance use conditions and premature mortality. Our research aims to improve the health of individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system by leveraging novel methods and partnerships.
HHCJ in the News
Dr. Kate Diaz Vickery is the Co-Director of the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab
Dr. Tyler Winkelman is the Co-Director of the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab