City Faculty & Staff News

CMAS partners with Fort Bend to provide stable housing


Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

The UH Center for Mexican American Studies has recently partnered to work with Fort Bend County under the Collaborative Information System to create a research training partnership between the county and the social services division. 

Project leaders such as CMAS associate director and associate professor of political science Jeronimo Cortina hope to create a process where the county would have the necessary tools to implement certain policies and sign implementation to help families with unstable housing. 

“At this stage, we are in the planning process and the planning process entails determining what policy we are going to focus on,” Cortina said. “We are trying to investigate why certain individuals use emergency housing centers in lieu of housing.”

The investigation aims to answer for people falling again into emergency housing, the characteristics, why it is recurring, the underlying issue, consequences of living in emergency housing and how such information can be used to develop beneficial policies that will allow clients to move out from emergency housing to have stable housing.

“(Plans include) developing a wide paper that will be ready by the beginning of next year in the first two or three months to determine the scope of the project,” Cortina said.

After that, the project organizers will begin to use resources from the center and involve scholars, graduate students and other professors from other departments. 

The CMAS project will also partner with a non-government organization group in Fort Bend County to help facilitate data gathering and analysis while producing participatory research between the University, the county and the NGOs.

Furthermore, UH Sugar Land will serve as a link facilitating future sustained research collaborations with nonprofits and public agencies. It will serve as a collision space- a place where people can get together to collaborate and bounce some ideas off of one another. As a result, UH Sugar Land has a prominent focus on generating community exchange.

People who are constantly moving from motel to motel can have a place that they can call home. Cortina noted it can help younger children break the pattern of the previous generations, and that has been rewarding to keep in mind. 

“We want to have a positive impact on people’s lives and change their lives and help them move forward,” said Cortina. “You know solving these very small issues is going to have a significant impact.”

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